Nebraska Cracks Down On Mule Deer

January 17, 2002 The Gazette (Montreal) by Gary Gerhardt
Nebraska fish and game officials became the latest to impose a five-year ban on the importation of wildlife that could carry chronic wasting disease.

At a meeting in Lincoln Tuesday, the Game and Parks Commissioners banned the importation, possession, keeping in captivity or releasing to the wild of mule deer. A release said there are only five mule deer owners in Nebraska and that they were "grandfathered" in, but cannot bring new animals into the state, according to Bruce Morrison, assistant administrator of the commission's Wildlife Division.

Game and parks commissioners could reopen the issue if an acceptable, viable tests for CWD is developed within the five years.

The commission also banned the importation, possession, keeping in captivity or releasing to the wild of bighorn sheep and wild pigs, whether raised in captivity or not.

Last week, the Colorado Wildlife Commission voted to give wildlife officials, rather than agriculture officials, control over the importation of elk or deer to game ranches in the state.

Agriculture officials said herds under surveillance for three years should be allowed into the state, but wildlife officials overrode that with a more severe regulation requiring two additional years of surveillance.

Currently, no state has a herd that has been under surveillance for five full years.

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