Action Alert: Minnesota House File 22 Cervid Provisions

August 17, 2020 | by National Deer Alliance

Introduced on August 12 by Reps. Rick Hansen (DFL-52A), Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL-42B), Anne Claflin (DFL-54A) and other representatives, Minnesota house file 22 (HF 22) modifies important statutory provisions on farmed cervids and cervid transportation. Specifically, HF 22 amends the existing statute with more strict language with respect to escaped farmed cervids procedures, farmed cervids identification requirements and cervid carcass transportation rules.

First, the bill requires that an owner of a captive cervid must immediately notify the commissioner of natural resources of the escape of a farmed cervid. The bill also gives authority to the commissioner of natural resources to destroy the escaped farmed cervid without delay and prior to any attempt of the owner to recapture the cervid. Additionally, a licensed hunter may kill and possess escaped farmed cervids in a lawful manner, and the hunter is not liable to the owner for the loss of the animal. Any escaped farmed cervid killed by a licensed hunter or destroyed by the commissioner of natural resources must be tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD) at the owner's expense.

With respect to identification, owners must include a phone number, address, or other contact information on the animal’s ID tag that enables the reader to readily identify the owner of the escaped farmed cervid.

The bill also amends the statute to prohibit the importation of cervid carcasses procured by any means into Minnesota, not just those that are hunter-harvested. However, transport of carcasses originating outside of Minnesota may be transported directly through the state by nonresidents.

The National Deer Alliance (NDA) focuses on policy that impacts deer and hunting, and one of our top priorities is deer diseases, and more specifically, CWD. The farmed cervid and carcass transport provisions in HF 22 serve as common-sense safeguards against the spread of CWD both from within and from outside Minnesota. Currently, the best way to slow the spread of CWD is to limit or prohibit the movement and transport of live cervids or potentially infected cervid parts. HF 22 does this by amending the existing statute with more strict language with respect to escaped farmed cervids procedures, farmed cervids identification requirements and cervid carcass transportation rules

Join NDA in supporting the common-sense safeguards against the spread of CWD both from within and from outside Minnesota found in HF 22. Visit the NDA Grassroots Advocacy Center to get in touch with your Representatives – let them know you support the cervid provisions found in HF 22.