COLUMBIA–Gov. Jay Nixon Tuesday 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.
“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.”
In his veto message, the Governor also said 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.