NADeFA Praises Successful Deer Farming Legislation in North Carolina

The North American Deer Farmers Association (NADeFA) expressed praise and congratulations to the passage of North Carolina’s omnibus farm bill which expands deer farming opportunities in the Tar Heel State. With Gov. Pat McCrory’s signature last week, the new law re-categorizes farm-raised deer as livestock rather than wild game and transfers oversight authority over deer farming from the Wildlife Resources Commission to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The successful legislation was the conclusion of three years of hard work by North Carolina deer farmers and NADeFA, which was deeply involved throughout the process. In addition to testifying at state hearings on behalf of the cervid industry, NADeFA Executive Director Shawn Schafer served on the North Carolina Cervid Disease Task Force and NADeFA funded lobbyists to ensure state legislators received factual information about the deer industry.

“NADeFA had boots on the ground throughout this long legislative effort so we’re very excited to finally see this legislation become law of the land in North Carolina,” says Shawn Schafer, executive director for the North American Deer Farmers Association. “The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is far more experienced in animal husbandry and disease prevention than the Wildlife Resources Commission, so it makes sense and it’s good policy to shift management of deer farming to the Department of Agriculture and bring North Carolina regulatory management in line with a majority of states across the country.”

Currently, there are about 40 states in the country with farmed cervid industries and the vast majority of those are regulated in full or in part by the states’ departments of agriculture.

“The signing of this Farm Bill into law signals an era of growth and prosperity for deer and elk farming in North Carolina, and it would never have been possible without the tenacious efforts and financial support of NADeFA. This was a hard fought battle for our association and its members, and we are grateful for the support we received from the industry,” says Brad Hoxit, president-elect for North Carolina Deer & Elk Farmers Association.

The North American Deer Farmers Association was founded in 1983 and is dedicated to the promotion of deer farming and ranching as an agricultural pursuit and serves its members through its educational programs and publications and by providing leadership in setting and maintaining quality standards. NADeFA represents the deer farming industry at all levels of government, and works closely with livestock producers and other organizations to promote ethical standards of conduct and husbandry in deer farming and to actively market standards for deer and deer products. NADeFA representatives are also available to media for expert testimony and information about deer farming and animal health issues, such as Chronic Wasting Disease, EHD and other topics.

For more information about NADeFA and membership, call 330.454.3944 or visit