Plate buyers unknowingly paying to test private livestock so that they won’t infect public wildlife.

Another subsidy to private Ag interests at the public expense.

Idaho Elk License Plate
Idaho Elk License Plate

Other states require testing of 100% of each private elk herd but the Idaho Legislature is requiring much less from Idaho’s elk growers and slipping money away from funds intended for the enhancement of wildlife. Idaho Senate Bill 1085 would require testing of “not more than twenty percent (20%) of testable animals” leaving elk, deer, moose, and other ungulates at risk of contracting chronic wasting disease, brucellosis or other diseases.

In Montana, citizens even passed an initiative making private elk operations illegal out of the well-founded fear that these operations would transmit chronic wasting disease to wild elk and deer.


Proceeds from elk license plates pay for testing private elk herds
Rocky Barker


  1. SBH Clay Avatar

    I’d say the biggest “disease” is speciesism. That’s the selfish, arrogant attitude of humans who feel so superior to animals that they not only pretend to “need” to hunt wild elk (to keep the population in check and to continue the “fun” sport of gunning down the elk’s predators), but they contradict themselves by breeding wild animals in confined conditions, a practice both perverse and cruel. Given this depraved, violent mentality, it is no wonder that their “diseased” behavior shows up in the form of physical disease. Cease doing wrong, and the repercussions of wrongdoing cease.


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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Ken Cole