Back in 2000, voters in my home state of Montana passed Constitutional Initiative 143, effectively ending the controversial business of game farming.
The catalyst for the initiative was the discovery of chronic wasting disease in a captive elk facility near Philipsburg, in the very heart of Montana’s wild-elk country. Elk in the facility were quarantined, then euthanized (shot by government marksmen), and later tested for always-fatal CWD, for which there is no cure and which is easily transmittable to wild deer and elk.
The months leading up to the vote that ended game farming was hugely polarized, with pro-business groups claiming that voters were improperly impinging a legitimate industry, while hunting groups mostly argued that a few poorly regulated operators were putting Montana’s publically owned wildlife—and the $500 million-a-year hunting industry—at inappropriate risk. [ Read Full Post ]