Missouri Supreme Court to consider the Department of Conservation’s authority to regulate the captive deer industry.

October 19, 2017

On October 10, 2017, the Court of Appeals, Eastern District transferred Hill v. Missouri Department of Conservation, ED105042, to the Missouri Supreme Court.

The case involves a challenge to regulations the Department enacted to manage the threat of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a fatal, easily transmittable disease affecting deer and other animals in the same scientific family.  The regulations imposed new fencing and confinement requirements; testing, record-keeping, and reporting requirements on hunting preserves; and prohibit importation of out-of-state deer for breeding facilities or hunting preserves.

The trial court held that the Department did not have authority over deer held in privately-owned facilities and that the amended regulations violated owners’ constitutional right to farm.

The Court of Appeals issued an opinion stating it would have reversed the trial court’s judgment but ordered the case transferred to the Missouri Supreme Court because of the general interest and importance of the questions involved.