Texas Deer Breeder Sues TPDW Over Killed Herd

by Rosemary Smith, Navasota Examiner

A Stoneham whitetail deer breeder is suing Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) after they euthanized about 25 of his captive deer Feb. 18-19.

Wayne Johnson’s attorney, Matthew Pepper of The Woodlands, said his client’s deer were killed for no reason, as they were protected under a previous filing for “Trial De Novo.” The September 2013 law overrules any type of administrative ruling, and allows “a brand new trial.” That is why his client is filing for an appeal, Pepper said.

TPW Public Information Officer Steve Lightfoot said the deer had to be put down because they were not properly tagged with unique numbers that are registered with TPW, and the only way to test them for chronic wasting disease (similar to mad cow disease, cws-info.org) and tuberculosis is to send their brain stems to a lab. The 71-year-old is arguing that he has been a breeder since 1977, and has never brought in an outside deer since he started out with a single doe and buck almost 40 years ago.

Tuesday, Lightfoot told The Examiner that the test results from Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station came back clean, which is what Johnson predicted.

“Now it becomes evident that they killed these deer for absolutely no reason. When you kill about 25 deer to determine that they’re healthy, that shows no respect for life,” Pepper said. “We understand the department’s obligation to protect the health of the general public, but by simply killing deer and testing those that are not tagged – how does that protect public health? It is a failure to understand the biology of whatever (disease) they are seeking. There are thousands of untagged deer, and to find where they come from – by killing deer in captivity – there’s absolutely no logic in it…and it’s wasteful.”

Continue Reading→