Chronic Wasting Disease Detected in Farm-Raised Deer in Wisconsin

Chronic Wasting Disease Detected in Farm-Raised Deer in Wisconsin

February 12, 2024 at 11:09 AM UTC
By: Stuart J. Wattles

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Madison, Wis (Civic Media) – Chronic wasting disease has made an appearance at a local farm.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been notified by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) about a case involving a farm-raised deer on a deer farm located in Sheboygan County.

What makes this discovery particularly concerning is that it falls within a 10-mile radius of the borders of Fond du Lac, Ozaukee, and Washington counties. The DNR found that a deer in Washington County tested positive last year.  As a result of the new discovery, a new ban on baiting and feeding will be implemented in Ozaukee County, starting on February 15th. 

Wisconsin state law mandates that the DNR must impose a three-year ban on baiting and feeding in counties where CWD has been detected. It also impacts adjoining counties within a 10-mile radius of the CWD detection, where it’s required to have a two-year ban. If additional cases of CWD are found during the existing ban, the ban will be extended for an additional two or three years, depending on the circumstances.

The DNR wants to remind the public that it is illegal to hunt over an area that has previously been used for legal baiting and feeding until the area remains free of bait or feed for a consecutive period of 10 days. This regulation is in place to prevent the further transmission of CWD and ensure the protection of the deer population.

Baiting and feeding practices have been identified as potential catalysts for the spread of CWD. When deer congregate unnaturally around shared food sources, infected deer can transmit the disease through direct contact with healthy deer. Additionally, infectious prions found in the saliva, blood, feces, and urine of infected deer can contaminate the environment, further contributing to the spread of the disease.

For those seeking more information about the regulations concerning baiting and feeding, the DNR encourages individuals to visit their Baiting and Feeding webpage. This resource provides detailed information about the guidelines and restrictions implemented to combat the transmission of CWD and protect Wisconsin’s deer population.