IDEFA Advocacy Efforts Have Reached Success!
In a multi-pronged approach the past few years, we have won the battle in the courts and at the Statehouse! It has been a lengthy and difficult process, but we have finally come out on top. Indiana’s new law will reaffirm what Indiana courts ruled last year, that hunting preserves are legal businesses vital to the state’s economy. The Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer of the state’s appeal in June, 2015. The result reaffirmed the Indiana Court of Appeals ruling this past February which held that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) overreached its constitutional authority and state law does not prohibit high-fence hunting nor does it allow DNR to regulate the practice.
While the court proceedings advanced, we brought our fight to the Statehouse as well in order to increase the awareness and positive messaging about our industry. We fought off multiple efforts to ban our industry. We fought off multiple efforts to unnecessarily harm our industry through burdensome regulation proposals, such as amendments to “cap” the amount of hunt ranches, raise fence heights, and prohibit out of state deer which would have severely harmed deer farmers in particular.
In the end, what passed in 2016 and what was signed by Governor Pence is a new law we support. Due to the court ruling, DNR is no longer the state agency to oversee hunt ranches. All oversight has been assigned to the Indiana Board of Animal Health. The Indiana Board of Animal Health will remain instrumental in regulating Indiana’s deer farms and preserves while maintaining one of the most robust disease prevention programs in the nation. While deer in the wild are tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD) at a rate of less than 1 percent, Indiana deer farms and preserves test 100 percent of their deer.
The Indiana Board of Animal Health is in the process of adopting new protocols as a result of Senate Enrolled Act 109.
Without YOUR support this would not have been possible. Just in the past few years, we faced severe uncertainty in the courts and efforts at the Statehouse to ban our industry. It has been a monumental task to fight on both fronts.
Very special thanks and appreciation is due for Sen. Mark Messmer and Rep. Sean Eberhart for shepherding the bill through the Senate and House.
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