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Wisconsin DNR asks hunters for help with CWD sampling this fall

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The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources concludes a multi-year effort to strengthen monitoring of chronic wasting disease this fall as deadly deer disease continues to spread throughout the state. The agency has asked deer hunters to help track down the disease in northeastern Wisconsin and 13 counties in other surveillance areas, completing enhanced surveillance activities beginning in 2018.

Amanda Camps, DNR’s Wildlife Health Conservation Specialist, said:

The DNR predicts that it could collect 21,000 samples across the state this year, but Kamps warned that the total number collected would depend on the interests of hunters. Authorities want to collect 300 samples in each of the 13 counties under increased surveillance in northeastern Wisconsin. These counties include Brown, Calmette, Door, Green Lake, Fondue Lac, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oconto, Outagamie, Waupaca, Waushara and Winevago.

The first CWD detected near Mount Horeb in 2002 spread throughout the state and is now known to be present in more than 30 counties. The disease attacks the brains of deer and other animals and can cause rapid weight loss and death over time.

“The reality is that over the past year, four new counties across the state have had new wild outbreaks of CWD, and there are some additional counties that also showed the first positives in captive deer,” Jeff Pritzl said. Mr. says. , DNR State-wide Deer Program Specialist.

Last year, deer farms in Outagamie, Wrangler, Soak, and Taylor counties tested positive for the disease. As of March 1, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has recorded 633 deer It has been positive on 29 deer farms since 2002. More than one-third of these cases, or 228 deer, have been positive since January last year, as reported by the state. 405 deer It was positive on the deer farm.

Last year, DNR totaled 18,896 samples In wild deer, about 8% (1,578 samples) were CWD positive in 23 counties. Due to the different amounts of sampling in certain parts of the state, authorities warn against using that percentage as an indicator of state-wide prevalence. The majority of deer tested positive for CWD were sampled in southern Wisconsin, including the counties of Iowa, Dane, Richland, and Soak.

Camps urged deer hunting to participate in CWD tests to track the spread of the disease. Hunters can submit test deer heads at any time at state-wide self-service kiosks. Meat processors and other companies are also supporting collection activities, and DNR makes home inspection kits available.

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Sampling results usually take about 10 days to 2 weeks. Last year, the average duration of the results was 9 days, and the agency does not anticipate any delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

DNR is also conducting CWD sampling in southern and central Wisconsin, and in other surveillance areas throughout the state where wild or farm-reared deer have been tested positive in pockets in northern Wisconsin.

DNR Secretary Preston Call, Agency Focus on research Not a regulation to fight the spread of the disease.Former Republican Governor Scott Walker Proposed urgent rules This included a double fence on a deer farm. Several counties and conservation groups supported the move, but the proposal led to backlash from the deer farm industry and some Republican lawmakers.

Pritzl said authorities need to consider what DNR can achieve through regulation and support from hunters in order to combat the CWD epidemic.

“I think the move we’ve seen as an example is a big step forward in raising awareness of proper carcass disposal over the last two years,” said Pritzl.

A list of landfills can be found at DNR website..

Pritzl said “purchase time” by monitoring sampling and transmission is important to prevent further spread of infection until the state confirms advances in treatment of CWD or more efficient testing options.

Greenfire, a conservation group that includes many former DNR staff, recommends an agency Review of CWD support plan It delays the spread of the disease and provides faster detection of CWD. DNR is currently in the middle of a second five-year review of its 15-year plan. Authorities will hold a series of public meetings before submitting the plan to the Natural Resources Commission early next year.

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