Governor Signs Measure to Prevent the Spread of Axis Deer

(Senator Gilbert Kahele and Senator Clarence Nishihara join Governor Abercrombie for the signing of Senate Bill 3001 into law.)

Honolulu- Today Governor Neil Abercrombie enacted Senate Bill (SB) 3001, Relating to Wildlife, into law. This measure prohibits the intentional possession and interisland transportation or release of wild or feral deer.

The introduction of non-native species to the State poses a negative effect on Hawai‘i’s environment and indigenous species in a variety of ways.  Specifically, the Axis Deer has caused great damage to native habitats and agricultural crops on Maui and are a danger to vehicular traffic on roadways. SB 3001 aims to provide a deterrent to the purposeful spread of wild or feral deer within the State and establishes penalties for the intentional possession or interisland transportation or release of wild or feral deer.

It is imperative that Hawai‘i’s environment and local industry be protected from the devastating effects that non-native species can pose to the health of our local economy and ecosystem, ” said Senator Gilbert Kahele (District 2- Ka‘u, Puna, Hilo), who introduced the measure. “This measure establishes the regulations needed to prevent the unwanted spread of Axis Deer so that our environment and businesses can continue to grow and prosper.”

We commend Senator Kahele, the state legislature and the Governor for passing SB3001 to prevent the cruel and irresponsible abandonment of deer across Hawaii. Such illegal introductions cause unnecessary animal suffering and harm to the environment” said Inga Gibson, Hawaii director for The Humane Society of the United States.

The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, who worked in support of this bill, are offering a reward of up to $2500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the illegal transport, release or abandonment of deer on the Big Island. The DLNR- Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement (DOCARE) is asking anyone with information on this illegal activity to please contact their toll-free reward tipline at 1-855-DLNR-TIP (1-855-356-7847).

If anyone sights a  deer on Hawai‘i Island, please call the Big Island Invasive Species Council Deer Coordinator at (808)443-4036.

To view video click