St. Louis County Prohibits the Development of New Cervid Farms

ST. LOUIS COUNTY — The St. Louis County Board has voted to prohibit new cervid farms from being made, in an effort to stop the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease.

The deadly disease has been around for more than 50 years and it continues to spread through deer, elk, and other members of the cervidae family.

Over the past year, St. Louis County examined the issue and saw it as a growing problem in cervid facilities and in the wild.

Ultimately, the county voted unanimously to prohibit the development of new cervid farms.

The five existing ones are able to continue operation, but they are not allowed to expand in size.

“We’re not trying to get rid of the existing cervid farms. Ideally, we want them to thrive. We’re just trying to do what’s best, to take a pause, raise the alarm, try to get all of the stakeholders together so that we can figure out a cure for this chronic wasting disease,” said St. Louis County Planning and Community Director, Matthew Johnson.

The planning commissions team stated that they considered a range of options before this decision.

Including — a complete ban, not doing anything at all, or requiring a conditional use permit for new cervid farms.

“It’s the responsible thing to do in this point in time. I hope that I live to see and be part of undoing this some day, when we are confident that we have a handle on the chronic wasting disease,” said Johnson.

The county said they plan to focus on educating the public about testing for the disease and helping stakeholders who are looking for a cure.

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