The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
  • Gov. Nixon vetoes two bills defining captive deer as livestock

  • Gov. Nixon vetoes two bills defining captive deer as livestock
    Governor points out Missouri Constitution gives Conservation
    Commission sole regulatory authority over wildlife; says bill
    provisions are clearly unconstitutional
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  • COLUMBIA, Mo. - Gov. Jay Nixon today vetoed two bills that would have
    redefined the term "livestock" to include captive deer in order to
    eliminate the role of the Missouri Department of Conservation in
    regulating white-tailed deer. The Governor said those provisions of
    Senate Bill 506 and House Bill 1326
    would go against longstanding successful conservation practices and
    also would clearly violate the Missouri Constitution, which gives
    exclusive authority over game and wildlife resources to the Missouri
    Conservation Commission.
    "For more than 75 years, our Department of Conservation has been held
    up as a model for wildlife management agencies across the country
    because of its incredible success," Gov. Nixon said. "Redefining deer
    as livestock to remove the regulatory role of Department defies both
    its clear record of achievement as well as common sense. White-tailed
    deer are wildlife and also game animals - no matter if they're roaming
    free, or enclosed in a fenced area."
    In his veto message, the Governor cites the exclusive authority of the
    Missouri Conservation Commission provided by the Missouri Constitution
    under Article IV, Section 40(a). He also said that under the
    stewardship of the Missouri Department of Conservation, the state's
    population of white-tailed deer has grown from fewer than 2,000 in the
    early 1930s to an estimated 1.3 million today, and that the 500,000
    deer hunters contribute $1 billion to Missouri's economy.
    "Growing and managing our deer herd and fostering the hunting
    opportunities that we enjoy takes hard work and sound science, and the
    Department of Conservation should be commended for employing both to
    preserve this important part of our heritage, not stripped of its
    authority to do so in order to protect narrow interests," the veto
    message reads.
    Gov. Nixon noted that "it is unfortunate that the legislature insisted
    on amending this unconstitutional provision to two pieces of
    legislation that otherwise contain worthy provisions advancing
    Missouri agriculture."
    The Governor discussed his actions on the two bills at a special
    meeting today of the Missouri Conservation Commission in Columbia.
    The veto message on Senate Bill 506 can be found
    here<http://governor.mo.gov/sites/default/files/SB%20506.pdf>, and the
    veto message on House Bill 1326 can be found
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