Senate introduces new legislation to address wildlife issues – Mississippi’s best community newspaper

The Senate introduces new legislation to address wildlife issues

Posted at 2:09 PM Thursday Jan 19, 2023

JACKSON – A handful of wildlife, fisheries and parks bills address current issues. Two bills would close loopholes that could lead to the sale of live deer and commission the commission to protect wildlife in the public interest while following sound scientific principles and limit the power of the MDWFP. All bills have been referred to the Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Commission.

Senate Bill 2536 would make it clear that it is illegal to buy, sell, or offer to sell any game birds, animals, or game fish unless specifically permitted by law as an exception passed by the legislature. The bill addresses an important issue where the sale of deer could be legalized under a new official opinion.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks sent a letter to the Attorney General’s office on January 19, 2022 requesting an opinion on the sale of live white-tailed deer based on Billy Devine’s will. Attorney General Lyn Fitch issued a formal opinion on the sale of live white-tailed deer in October 2022.

The MDWFP Committee believes that it has the authority granted by Mississippi Code Section 49-7-58 (3) to issue rules and regulations for white-tailed deer in enclosures. The commissioners wanted to see if they could pass rules so that deer could be traded in high-fenced enclosures by registered captive white-tailed deer breeders. Lincoln County currently has one site with a deer enclosure permit and there are 114 high fenced enclosures and four breeding pens in Mississippi.

One question the committee raises is whether there is any statutory prohibition on the committee establishing administrative rules for the commercial trade of white-tailed deer among properly registered captive deer breeders, as authorized by 40 Miss. Admin. Pt code. 2, pp. 8.2(c). The second question is would the answer be different if the deer came from a public university or from another part of the United States.

Fitch responded that the Commission may issue a rule allowing white-tailed deer to be traded in containers without violating an explicit statutory law. The response wouldn’t change if those deer came from a state university or another part of the United States.

Senate Bill 2540 would unequivocally state that the wildlife of Mississippi belongs to the citizens at large and that the state has a duty to protect and preserve wildlife in the public interest, as well as the duty and authority to defend the public interest in wildlife in accordance with the Principles sound scientific. “

SB2540 addresses the sale of deer and may address the Mississippi State Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Commission’s decision to lift the supplemental feed ban in Claiborne County. Since the ban was lifted, six cases of chronic wasting disease have been detected within 1.5 miles of the Claiborne County line in the Archdiocese of Tensas.

Complementary feed bans are scientific best practices for managing the prevalence of chronic wasting disease. SB2540 will require the commission to cooperate with the department in protecting wildlife for future generations.

Senate Bill 2535 would change the definition of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to an advisory committee to assist Department Director Len Posey in decision-making. The district director serves as the governor per Senate bill.

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