DNR announces updated CWD Response Plan

MADISON — Increased surveillance, increased sampling, carcass movement restrictions and local community involvement are just some the goals outlined in the recently updated Wisconsin DNR CWD Response Plan.

The updated plan, the result of a collaborative effort between DNR, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection, the Wisconsin Conservation Congress and key stakeholders, will be the guide for CWD response and management over the next five years. Implementation of the plan as part of Gov. Scott Walker’s Chronic Wasting Disease Initiative has already begun, according to a news release Friday, March 2 from the DNR.

Among the key points in the plan is the work of County Deer Advisory Councils and local communities, the DNR said. The citizen-based CDACs set the deer population goals for their counties, which is an important factor in those counties where CWD has been detected.

When a detection is found in a new area, DNR in collaboration with the CDAC and local landowners will launch a rapid response Citizen Advisory Team to determine the extent of CWD, share the information widely, and collectively determine the appropriate response.

Team members will host citizen-based informational meetings in several locations in the county. They will go “door-to-door” visiting landowners within a 2-mile radius of the positive detection to help develop and promote voluntary landowner surveillance testing permits, encourage the reporting of “sick deer” at the local level, and educate landowners on the current feeding and baiting regulations.

This approach was first used after the 2011 CWD discovery in Washburn County where there hasn’t been a positive CWD detection since. The same idea is now being deployed in Lincoln County where the first case of CWD was announced in January.

According to the release, hunters play a vital role in tracking and managing the disease. The updated plan calls for making more CWD sampling opportunities available to hunters through sampling kiosks around the state and making more hunters aware of self-sampling testing kits. The department will continue to encourage hunters to get their harvested deer tested not only for their own piece of mind but to help us track the disease.

Also according to the DNR, realizing that deer carcass movement around the state and carcass disposal practices may play a role in the spread of CWD, there will be increased efforts to make hunters aware of the risks of moving carcasses from CWD positive counties to other counties where CWD has not been reported. Proper carcass disposal will also be stressed. New information on proper disposal can be found on the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, by searching for “deer carcass disposal sites.”

DATCP, which has authority over deer farms, is working closely with stakeholders to address biosecurity measures through rule language that will result in enhanced fencing requirements at game farms where a CWD positive has been found.

Find out more about this updated CWD Response plan by going to the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, and search keywords “CWD Response Plan.

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