Action Alert: Proposed Changes to Florida Carcass Labeling Rules

The Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) is at the beginning stages of rule development for the 2022-23 hunting season and is seeking input on a package of hunting-related draft rule changes, including ones that would clarify and provide consistency regarding deer carcass handling, storage, transfer, possession, and labeling requirements.

The National Deer Association (NDA) supports the proposals to clarify, provide consistency, and in some ways, simplify, deer carcass handling, storage, transfer, possession, and labeling requirements. The proposed rules provide new definitions regarding deer carcass handling, storage and possession, update and simplify what information is required by an individual who possesses a harvested deer, amend storage labeling rules to align with harvest reporting requirements, and clarify possession limits for deer processing and storage facilities. These rules should prove helpful to hunters, taxidermists and deer processors.

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FWC Commissioners will consider these and other hunting-related draft rule amendments at their December 2021 meeting and provide guidance to staff on how to proceed. Commissioners will consider the proposed rule amendments for final adoption at their March 2022 meeting. If adopted, most rules would take effect July 1, 2022, and be in place for the 2022-2023 hunting season. Comments on the rules can be submitted online.

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The NDA is dedicated to ensuring the future of wild deer, wildlife habitat and hunting. Among our core focus areas are hunter recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) and deer diseases, including chronic wasting disease (CWD). The FWC proposed rules should advance R3 efforts while maintaining provisions to help reduce the spread of CWD. Difficult to understand or multi-layered rules can serve as a barrier to entry for new and seasoned hunters alike. Clarifying, simplifying and providing consistency go a long way in assuring hunters that they’re compliant after a successful hunt and alleviates worry when heading afield. However, the proposed rules still ensure that accurate and proper carcass handling, labeling and storage information is present for FWC tracking and game-law enforcement. Additionally, the proposed rules do not alter or hinder carcass handling or transport rules intended to reduce the spread of CWD.


About Torin Miller

Torin Miller is a licensed attorney and NDA’s Director of Policy. He works at the intersection of conservation and natural resources law, policy, advocacy and education. He has a bachelor's degree in wildlife and fisheries science from Penn State University, a J.D. from Penn State Law and is finishing a master's degree in wildlife and fisheries science at Penn State. Torin came to NDA via the National Deer Alliance, where he served as the Policy and Outreach Coordinator.