DECEMBER 6, 2004 - Posted at 3:23 p.m. CST
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Interpretation of a regulation by the state Game & Fish Commission has Dutch Noe worried about his Poinsett County business. Noe has been raising mallards for decades to stock the skies of northeast Arkansas for the hunting season and does not want to obey a commission directive that he confine his birds.
The root issue is disease. Officials say highly contagious viruses, such as duck plague enteritis and avian cholera, are more common among captive ducks. But Noe says his business near Trumann, which raises up to 300,000 mallards per year, wouldn't be able to continue if he has to pen his birds.
The ducks are provided to hunters and resorts. The ducks can only be shot during duck season.