Mo. agency suspends permits for deer facilities

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Conservation Commission has stopped issuing permits for new big-game hunting and breeding facilities that hold white-tailed or mule deer.

Officials say the goal is to help protect deer from fatal chronic wasting disease, a contagious illness that attacks the nervous system.

The state’s first two cases were found in 2010 and 2011 at two private hunting preserves in northern Missouri. Biologists have since confirmed chronic wasting disease in 11 captive deer and five free-ranging deer.

The suspension of new permits does not apply to breeders and hunting ranches with existing permits or to facilities that want to hold animals other than deer.

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