A long-running feud between the Division of Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture over just who should regulate West Virginia’s growing deer farm industry is simmering once again under the Capitol dome.
On one hand, the DNR feels it must retain the right to govern deer farms, arguing that whitetail deer are just that, and not domestic livestock.On the other side, deer farmers maintain the Department of Agriculture is best qualified and equipped to regulate their industry.
“Deer farms are required to keep the deer within a fence,” says DNR Director Frank Jezioro.
“Their contention is because those deer are in a fence, they’re no longer whitetail deer but domestic livestock. That’s pretty hard for me to believe. We have places where you have free-ranging animals. A black Angus is a black Angus. Put it in a feed lot, it is a black Angus. They don’t change species. We still feel that is correct.