Wisconsin Conservation Congress members step forward with CWD reaction plan
The Conservation Congress outlined a plan for the Natural Resources Board (NRB) that is aimed at stopping the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Wisconsin.
The Conservation Congress plan follows calls from state legislators Chris Danou and Nick Milroy for Gov. Scott Walker to get more aggressive on stopping the spread of CWD.
Then the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation wrote the governor with 11 ideas that involve better fence control on deer farms and more funding for CWD programs.
Now, the Conservation Congress is recommending that the DNR and DATCP consider a bio-security plan to protect free-ranging white-tailed deer in Wisconsin.
Larry Bonde, Conservation Congress chair, and Mike Riggle, Congress delegate from Taylor County and a veterinarian for 34 years, told the Natural Resources Board that the public needs to stop being complacent over CWD. Regardless of how CWD came to Wisconsin it is time to try to stop its spread, they said.
Some Congress suggestions include:
- Discontinue baiting and feeding of deer statewide. CWD is spread through feces and oral contact, and concentrating deer over bait and feed just increases opportunities for spread.
- Captive cervid facilities that have one deer test positive for CWD should be considered high risk. These farms need to be double fenced.
- The public needs to understand the possibilities of spreading CWD. That means people running their ATV or UTV all over property where there has been a high incidence of CWD should wash off their tires before taking their vehicle to other counties.
Likewise, hunters bringing elk from out west or deer from infected counties should be cognizant of that fact and not dispose of remains on the Wisconsin landscape.
- Hunters need to know where their urine-based scents come from and should ask companies to provide scent from CWD-free deer.
Bonde and Riggle make sense, and since wildlife belong to everyone in the state, everyone needs to realize the consequences if the $2 billion deer hunting industry in Wisconsin were to eventually collapse if CWD spreads statewide.
Bonde and Riggle received positive responses from NRB members. Hunters, and the public, should request quick action from the DNR, DATCP and the governor.