HB 115 -- WILD ELK
COMMITTEE ACTION: Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Crime
Prevention and Public Safety by a vote of 13 to 1.
This bill specifies that the Department of Conservation will have
ownership and title to all wild elk in Missouri. Any person
taking possession or killing a wild elk is deemed to consent that
the title of the elk will be and will remain in the department
for the purpose of control management, restoration, conservation,
and regulation of wild elk.
The department will be financially responsible for any damage
caused by wild elk including, but not limited to, crops and
pasture, livestock, fencing and other private property, and motor
vehicles. A landowner is allowed to destroy any wild elk that
has caused any damage to his or her property.
FISCAL NOTE: No impact on General Revenue Fund in FY 2012, FY
2013, and FY 2014. Estimated Net Cost on Other State Funds of
Unknown in FY 2012, FY 2013, and FY 2014.
PROPONENTS: Supporters say that the introduction of wild elk
into the state by the Department of Conservation will lead to
numerous problems including vehicle accidents, destroyed crops
and gardens, damaged fencing, and livestock health issues due to
disease. The proposed introduction zone is not entirely remote;
and the elk population will grow rapidly, leading to high costs
because of the damages caused by the elk. The department should
be responsible for these costs since it is introducing them.
Testifying for the bill were Representative Schad; Bobby Simpson;
Darrell Skiles; Missouri Farm Bureau; Missouri Insurance
Coalition; and Jeff Windett, Missouri Cattlemens Association.
OPPONENTS: Those who oppose the bill say that the introduction
of wild elk was based on a carefully designed and managed plan to
release a limited number in a defined restoration zone found
mostly on public land. The elk will be fitted with GPS tracking
collars. An increase in tourism is expected. Wildlife in the
state is managed for the citizens of the state to use and enjoy
and requiring compensation for damages would not be a good idea.
Other states that have introduced elk have not reported problems.
Testifying against the bill were Jim Sample; Department of
Conservation; James D. Pace; Earl Cannon, Central Missouri
Chapter of Safari Club International; Jim Maddox; John Burk,
National Wild Turkey Federation; and Elsa Gallagher, Quail
Forever and Pheasants Forever.
Copyright (c) Missouri House of Representatives
Missouri House of Representatives
96th General Assembly, 1st Regular Session
Last Updated August 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm