The Humane Society of the United States Applauds North Carolina Decision to Table Plans to Allow New Cervid Facilities

The Humane Society of the United States issued a statement in response to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s tabling of proposed regulations to expand captive cervid facilities. The facilities would have kept deer, elk and other animals classified as cervids. 

“Captive cervid facilities concentrate animals in unnaturally high densities, which puts both captive and native herds at risk of serious diseases like the fatal, incurable Chronic Wasting Disease,” said Kim Alboum, North Carolina state director for The HSUS. “Furthermore, expanding captive deer breeding could lead to a market for captive cervid trophy hunting ranches, which are currently illegal, in the state. The Humane Society of the United States is so pleased that the Commission has decided to put aside this reckless proposal which flies in the face of sound conservation.”


  • The state of North Carolina currently has a moratorium on new captive cervid facilities; the proposed regulations would have allowed new facilities to open.
  • Diseases such as tuberculosis, brucellosis and Chronic Wasting Disease have been diagnosed in captive wildlife, and cannot be contained by a fence.
  • Chronic Wasting Disease has now been found in 22 states. In 13 of the states the disease has been found in captive populations.
  • Chronic Wasting Disease can cost taxpayers millions of dollars in response efforts – the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources alone has spent over $35 million since 2002 fighting the disease.
  • Animals in captive hunts are stocked inside fenced enclosures, allowing ranches to often offer guaranteed trophies, “100 percent success” rates, and advertise “no kill, no pay” policies.
  • Captive hunts are generally reviled by the hunting community nationwide for violating the principle of fair chase. Hunting groups such as the Boone and Crockett Club and the Pope and Young Club, which maintain trophy records for big game hunting, will not consider animals shot at captive hunts for inclusion on their record lists.
  • At more than 1,000 commercial captive hunt operations in the United States, trophy hunters pay to shoot native and exotic mammals confined in fenced enclosures.
  • Many of the animals on these ranches have become accustomed to humans, making them easy targets for shooters.

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