MADISON-On Wednesday, May 3, State Representatives Dana Wachs and Nick Milroy held a press conference to introduce the “Save Our Deer” Act. This proposal would help to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) from infected deer farms in Wisconsin. CWD is a highly contagious, extremely resistant disease with no known cure that affects an increasing number of deer in Wisconsin every year.
“CWD has been a significant problem for over a decade now, but Governor Walker and the Republicans in the Legislature have done little to combat it,” said Rep. Wachs. “While other states like Michigan and Missouri are increasing tests for CWD, the number of tests conducted in Wisconsin has decreased significantly since 2010. Deer hunting is an important tradition in Wisconsin and it contributes over one billion dollars to our economy per year. We must do what we can to ensure that this tradition continues.”
According to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, there are 387 deer farms in Wisconsin. Since 2001, 15 farms have tested positive for CWD.
If passed, the “Save Our Deer” Act will prevent the spread of CWD from infected farms in a number of ways:
Requires that all deer farms have electronic monitoring systems that indicate when gates are open
Requires fencing for non-whitetail deer farms
Mandates that fences be inspected every two years
Requires all deer farms that have CWD to comply with new standards, including double-fencing or electric fencing
“We owe it to the people of Wisconsin, not just hunters, to do everything we can to slow the spread of CWD,” added Rep. Milroy. “Hunting is a time-honored tradition and a major industry in Wisconsin, without a healthy deer herd our hunting heritage and economy are in jeopardy. While there is much to learn about CWD, we know we can slow its spread. Creating additional safeguards at deer farms will give us an extra layer of protection.”