Attending the Department of Natural Resources’ chronic wasting disease meeting in Bemidji on Sept. 28, it was apparent that the federal government and state officials act under a policy where the names of the deer farmers are protected.
This is confusing, as crop farmers getting aid from the federal government are on the internet with the amounts paid. Also, the DNR initially said the site was located in Beltrami County, keeping it broad as to not list the deer farm in Hines as the site.
The farm is still under investigation as to who moved the CWD deer to county land and for what reason. What happened due to negligence is now making deer farms a topic at the state Legislature, as people are now pushing for stricter laws about movement and rules governing deer farms.
Will the act of one farm negatively impact deer farms that are following the rules and keeping the necessary paperwork for the state as each animal is tracked from birth to death? Strong opinions are forming against deer farms as to why they exist. To what end will the DNR allow them to not follow rules that are clearly listed?
The penalty for not following rules was explained at the meeting and deer farms that violate rules go through a process where if they keep breaking rules they will eventually lose their license. What was not made clear was what happens from the time they violate the rules to when they lose their license, as there is room for more violations during this period.
The farm in question worked with the federal government on a plan for payment for the animals that were killed, even after they violated the agreement that was made when the herd tested positive by dumping illegal carcasses on county land.
At the meeting, the DNR made it clear that they are not working with the federal government on the payment as it is not their jurisdiction. This means that the federal taxpayers will never know what dollar deal was struck as this will remain confidential information. The DNR did say that a lawsuit is underway to have the deer farm pay for the erected fence where the deer were thrown.
This lawsuit is supposed to be public information, but will it list the farm?
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