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Game Farming

MDF Game Farming Position Statement

April 2008

The Mule Deer Foundation defines game farming as "the intensive husbandry of privately owned game animals held captive under non-free ranging conditions."

Game farms raising native and exotic big game animals have dramatically grown in both size and numbers across North America in recent years. Coinciding with this growth has been the growth of concern for wild, free-ranging big game populations, that are through the powers granted in the U.S. Constitution, the management responsibility of the individual states of our great country.

There have been serious disease outbreaks on big game farms in recent years. Currently there are no live animal tests that can assure that individual animals are free of chronic wasting disease (CWD) and certain other diseases. In fact, it is not even currently known just exactly how CWD is transmitted from one animal to another. The transmission of CWD from game farms animals to wild free-ranging mule deer and black-tailed deer populations could be devastating.

With these facts in mind, the Mule Deer Foundation:

  1. Supports the enactment and enforcement of game farm regulations that protect the sound health and genetic viability of wild, free-ranging mule deer and black-tailed deer.
  2. Supports the state wildlife agencies responsibilities in regulating game farms so as to ensure the sound health and genetic viability of wild, free-ranging mule deer and black-tailed deer.
  3. Believes that raising captive mule deer and black-tailed deer on private game farms poses serious threats to the health and genetic viability of wild, free-ranging mule deer and black-tailed deer populations.

North Dakota Hunters for Fair Chase Letter

April 8, 2008

North Dakota Hunters for Fair Chase Committee

Dear Fair Chase Committee:

In addition to the Game Farming Position Statement that has been passed by the Mule Deer Foundation’s (MDF’s) Board of Directors, this is a letter of support for your endeavors to help solidify the health of North Dakota’s big game populations, the hunting heritage that we in this country hold dear to our hearts, the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation (NAMWC), and the principles of fair chase that make the NAMWC a success.

With the statements in the MDF’s Game Farming Position Statement in mind and held to be true, the Mule Deer Foundation supports the initiated measure being brought forward by North Dakota Hunters For Fair Chase, which would prohibit the shooting of captive big game and exotic species in high-fenced shooting operations.

The MDF is supportive of healthy, free-ranging wildlife populations. The MDF is supportive of fair chase methods of hunting these populations. The disease concerns (CWD, TB, etc.) that exist with fenced enclosures for big game and exotic game animals, along with the concern for fair chase standards that we have in the United States, are two of the biggest reasons why the MDF is supportive of this measure.


Miles Morretti
Mule Deer Foundation
404 E. 4500 S., Suite B-10
Salt Lake City, UT, 84107