The Alabama House of Representatives voted Thursday to ban the importation of deer and other members of the Cervidae family into the state of Alabama.
Senate Bill 314 is sponsored by State Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro. SB314 was carried in the House by State Rep. Artis “A.J.” McCampbell, D-Livingston.
McCampbell said this bill was a recommendation of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and is being recommended to help fight the spread of chronic wasting disease.
“Under existing law, certain wildlife may be held in captivity for public exhibition purposes, subject to rules adopted by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources,” according to the synopsis. “However, a publicly owned zoo or wildlife exhibit or a privately owned traveling zoo, circus or pet shop is not subject to this law or associated rules adopted by the department. This bill would expressly prohibit a municipal, county, state or other publicly owned zoo or wildlife exhibit or a privately owned traveling zoo, circus or pet shop from importing or causing to be imported any species of the family Cervidae into the state.”
McCampell said in addition to importing whitetail deer, this would also apply to elk, moose and reindeer.
State Rep. April Weaver, R-Alabaster, asked if this would affect deer breeders.
“It would not affect them in any way,” McCampbell replied.
HB314 was passed 97 to 0. It has already passed the Senate. It now goes to the governor for her consideration.
CWD is a wasting disease, similar in some respects to “Mad Cow Disease.” Alabama does not have CWD currently, but deer have been found with the illness in both Mississippi and Tennessee. CWD eventually leads to the death of the animal.
To learn more about CWD:
Deer with Chronic Wasting Disease found in Pontotoc County, Mississippi