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Exotic Wildlife Association
Exotic Wildlife Association

Missouri Cervid Leaders Send ACA’s Commerce Clause Opinion to Conservation Department Commissioners

AYR, NE- Leaders within the Missouri Whitetail Deer Breeders & Hunting Ranch Association have requested the ACA’s legal council’s written opinion be sent to it its Conservation Department Commissioners.  The legal opinion, addressed to the commissioners, cites legal opinions regarding the commerce clause and how it pertains to border closures. This correspondence from the ACA attorneys is in response to the relentless and unwavering suggestions of closing the Missouri borders, to the importation of out of state cervids, by the conservation department and other special interest groups.The legal opinion, drafted by ACA attorney Clint Patty, states that in his opinion there is a strong argument to be made if a state decides to close its borders to interstate commerce. His review of the constitutionality of the proposed Missouri border closing to out of state cervids cites numerous Supreme Court cases where legal precedence has been established. It also states in most of these prior cases that the best known science available must be used as justification.

The letter also addresses recent events creating credibility and legal issues for the State of Missouri if it closes its borders.  The Missouri Attorney General recently filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court in California seeking to strike down a California law that effectively closes California borders to Missouri egg producers. Missouri bases its arguments in California on the same Commerce Clause arguments raised by the cervid industry: closing borders without an adequate rational basis violates the US Constitution.

“We are still hearing that the department wants to close our borders,” said Kurt Humphrey, a director on the Missouri Whitetail Deer Breeders & Hunting Ranch Association board. “We have to let the department know where we stand.”

The ACA’s attorneys provided this legal opinion to members of the council as more and more states discuss closing their borders to the importation of cervids. ACA Moderator Eric Mohlman said, “If this opinion can help the Missouri effort then they can do what they need to do with it. If Missouri needs further assistance, we can bring it to the ACA Council for deliberation.”

Charly Seale
Executive Director
(830) 928-3158

EWA Office (830) 367-7761