Under current state law, deer farmers can sell their animals only to hunting preserves or other farmers in the state. Farmers also can sell their animals across state lines but cannot bring any out-of-state deer back into West Virginia.
That's because DNR officials worry loosening restrictions on deer farming would lead to an increase of chronic wasting disease, an illness similar to mad cow disease.
Moving deer farming to Department of Agriculture, advocates say, would free up that industry and also allow them to sell whitetail deer for meat.
A deer farming bill has not been introduced so far this session.
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Members of the House Republican Caucus are "extremely disappointed" Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin backed out of a commitment to discuss education reform with them Monday, the leader of the caucus said.
Tomblin's office disputes the claim that the governor backed out, saying it was simply a scheduling mix-up.
Delegate Patrick Lane, R-Kanawha, said Tomblin staff members approached Republican House leadership late last week to set up a discussion about Tomblin's education reform bill. The GOP agreed to caucus -- a private meeting for certain groups of legislators, typically created along party lines -- with Tomblin at 4 p.m. Monday.
Tomblin let Republicans know around noon Monday he would not be able to make it, Lane said. With most of the House GOP's 46 members campaigning on education reform, Lane said he thinks his party-mates could favor some of the governor's ideas.
"I think the right proposals probably have 46 votes from the GOP, but I'm not sure those votes are going to be there if we don't have someone come talk with us or at least honor their commitment and show up and answer questions," Lane said Monday afternoon.
Lane is wrong, Tomblin spokeswoman Amy Shuler Goodwin said.
A member of Tomblin's staff told Goodwin the Republican caucus asked for the meeting on Friday. The governor initially said he would participate, but the turnaround time was too quick to make it happen, Goodwin said.
The governor wants to meet with everyone to discuss the bill, including House Republicans, Goodwin said. Lane said he's hopeful this exchange is "just a bump in the road." He wasn't sure if or when the caucus could try to meet with the governor again.