Texas adopts new rules over fatal deer disease

HARLINGEN — Deer farmers walked out en masse, but the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department this week adopted new rules to regulate transport of captive deer to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease.

The fatal disease was first discovered in 2012 in a wild mule deer near the New Mexico border. But TPWD says since then 10 cases have been found in pen-raised white-tailed deer on game ranches.

The provisions adopted will restrict movement of breeder deer in the state, and increase both testing of dead and live captive deer for CWD.

Some deer farmers say the new rules are regulatory overreach, and threaten what they say is a $1 billion a year industry in the state.

In a statement on its Facebook page the Texas Deer Association, which fought the new regulations, said it had worked for compromise on the issues but was overruled.

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