Favorable Deer & Elk Legislation Passes Kansas Senate & House

April 10, 2015

Governor Brownback Signs Senate Bill 46 into Law

TOPEKA- The 2015 legislative session has proved to be a great year for the Kansas Cervid Breeders Association. Earlier this year, at the request of the Kansas Cervid Breeders Association (KCBA), the Kansas Department of Agriculture introduced a bill to clarify tagging requirements for farmed elk and deer. The bill would be known as Senate Bill 46. At the same time, the department introduced an identical bill in the House of Representatives labeled House Bill 2029.  

SB 46 and HB 2029 state that farmed elk and deer need to be officially identified when deer and elk enter or exit their ranches. Movement to direct slaughter facilities are excluded from this requirement. The bill would not impact ranches enrolled in the USDA's Chronic Wasting Disease monitoring program as they must have two official forms of identification on every animal in their possession. Members not in the program and owners of hunting preserves would be benefited by the bill.

Hearings were scheduled for SB 46 and HB 2029 in the Senate Agriculture and House Agriculture & Natural Resources committees, respectively.  Travis Lowe, who owns a contract lobbying firm in Topeka was once again hired by the KCBA to advocate for the passage of the new legislation. Lowe testified on behalf of the association while educating the legislators about the cervid industry.  Lowe was joined by the Commissioner Bill Brown of the Kansas Department of Agriculture in support of the bill.

Both hearings went well.  The House committee was particular inquisitive and asked many questions. Lowe and Commissioner Brown tag-teamed over twenty well intended questions about the industry. When a state representative noted he had a friend in Iowa that raises deer and asked why deer farming is controversial there, Brown replied that some states take harder approaches but Kansas wants to be open for deer and elk farming.  Lowe added that farmed elk and deer are the healthiest cervids alive in the states.

After the bills were recommended out of committee, SB 46 passed the Senate 40-0 while HB 2029 passed 114-0. After passage, each bill was sent to the second chamber and crossed like two ships in the night. A second vote was needed on one of the bills in order to be sent to Governor Brownback’s desk.  The House of Representatives then voted on SB 46 and passed it 119-0. In April, Governor Sam Brownback signed the bill into law.

The passage of this bill marks another move of favorable reform in Kansas statutes in regulations.

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