A Texas appeals court has ruled that breeder deer are not private property, making them subject to state laws designed to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease from captive facilities. The ruling came in response to a lawsuit brought by a pair of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) breeders. The breeders, who had a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department permit to breed deer in captivity, insisted that the permit made the captive deer their private property. A trial court disagreed, and a state appeals court upheld the decision, finding “breeder deer are public property held under a permit.” State law considers deer to be wild animals but allows breeders with permits to hold individuals in captivity. To limit the spread of chronic wasting disease from captive populations into the wild, state regulations require testing and limitations on the transportation of captive deer.
Read more from the Texas Agriculture Law Blog here.