Chronic Wasting Disease

Wisconsin State Lab Ramps Up For CWD Testing

Nov 21, 2017
Wisconsin DNR

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MADISON, Wis. - With the nine-day gun deer hunt now under way in Wisconsin, it's expected half a million hunters will take to the woods.

With the bow hunting season for deer underway and the gun hunting season approaching, the DNR is again asking for businesses and hunters to help out by donating deer heads to test for Chronic Wasting Disease.

The efforts are in response to finding CWD in a deer harvested from a Three Lakes preserve in 2015.

Wildlife biologist Jeremy Holtz in Rhinelander says following the discovery, special deer rules are in effect in Oneida, Vilas and Forest counties....

Wisconsin DNR

Legislative changes to Wisconsin's deer baiting and feeding ban can be viewed through the DNR website to check where things have changed.

DNR Section Chief Tami Ryan says before taking part in upcoming hunting seasons or placing feed for wildlife, hunters and wildlife watchers should be sure to check which counties currently prohibit wildlife baiting and feeding activities.

Wisconsin DNR

The scope of Chronic Wasting Disease among mainly white-tailed deer was the focus of a forum last week in Mole Lake.

The forum was sponsored by the Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa Community. A presenter was DNR Wildlife Management Bureau Director Eric Lobner. He outlined the disease spread since it was first discovered in southwestern Wisconsin 15 years ago. He says they've collected more than 200,000 samples in that time. He says the vast majority of the positive samples have been in southern Wisconsin with five samples testing positive in central and with one in Washburn county.

Wisconsin DNR

Chronic Wasting Disease is a major threat to Wisconsin's deer herd. Within the last two years it was discovered for the first time in this area. It has confounded researchers looking for a way to deal with it.

Prions are abnormal, pathogenic agents that are transmissible and are able to induce abnormal folding of specific normal cellular proteins called prion proteins that are found most abundantly in the brain. Unlike bacteria, for example, prions don't have the stuff that medicine can attack to cure.

Wisconsin DNR

Two Democrats have authored a bill to clamp down on deer farm protections to help prevent wider spread of Chronic Wasting Disease.

State Representatives Dana Wachs and Nick Milroy introduced the “Save Our Deer” Act. The proposal would help slow the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease from infected deer farms in Wisconsin.

Dana Wachs says the entire state deer herd is in jeopardy and the bill is designed to slow down the spread of CWD while scientist work on the disease...

Wisconsin DNR

So far, so good after the first full hunting seasons in the Northwoods after the DNR discovered Chronic Wasting Disease at a deer farm in Three Lakes in 2015.

DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz gives results after the testing....

"....the good news is of all the samples we've analyzed for the last deer season, we've had zero positive tests in the wild. Every single test we've submitted has been negative for the 2016 deer season...."

Wikimedia Commons CNNF

The DNR plans to present final revisions to the state's long-term chronic wasting disease plan to the Natural Resources Board in December.

A stakeholder committee has developed more than 60 adjustments to the existing 15-year plan. State D-N-R Big Game Section Chief Bob Nack told the Board last week 17 stakeholders were involved in the recent updating of the plan..

DNR/Dane Co. Sheriff's Dept.

A state advisory group has recommended about 60 ideas for renewing Wisconsin's fight against chronic wasting disease in the deer herd.

The panel completed four months of work by making its final proposals Wednesday.

DNR Big Game leader Bob Nack says the goals of the group are lofty...

"....the goal of the plan is to reduce the spread of CWD and to reduce the number of deer testing positive for CWD. That's a lofty goal I think the action items proposed here are the best effort we have to achieve that...."

Courtesy: Wisconsin DNR

County Deer Advisory Councils will hold special meetings in January to respond to chronic wasting disease statewide and on a local level.

DNR big game section chief Bob Nack says the local deer councils will be providing feedback on the 15 year plan..

"....and the discussions they are going to hold are based on preliminary discussions we have received from a CWD Response Plan review committee, consisting of agencies and organizations that have a keen interest on CWD in the state..."

With the discovery of chronic wasting disease here and gun hunting deer season in three Northwoods counties completed, the DNR is seeking public input on a 15 year chronic wasting disease plan.

Over the past few months the DNR, several agencies and groups have been talking about the plan.

DNR wildlife biologist Michele Woodford in Woodruff outlines the areas where they are looking for feedback...

Wikimedia Commons

The DNR is again asking successful Northwoods deer hunters to help them out to track Chronic Wasting Disease.

Oneida, Forest and Vilas counties will see DNR staff will be sampling deer in those counties in addition to Oconto county in areas around two CWD-positive captive deer facilities.

Wildlife health section chief Tami Ryan says the Northwoods CWD problem is new and they would like hunters to help with the study...

The 2016 archery and crossbow deer seasons run concurrently statewide beginning September 17, and a DNR biologist says hunters in this area will face new restrictions after deer with Chronic Wasting Disease were found near Three Lakes.

After the discovery of the diseased deer, restrictions on baiting and feeding were put in place in Oneida, Vilas and Forest counties.

Biologist Jeremy Holtz says both property owners and hunters have new rules...

The state Natural Resources Board has approved changes to fencing requirements keeping deer contained in a deer preserve.

The board ok'd an emergency rule allowing farms not enrolled in the chronic wasting disease monitoring program to retain single fencing.

The changes come after the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection last week announced the Northwoods first confirmed case of CWD near Three Lakes. Currently, deer farm property owners who want to move deer must join Wisconsin's chronic wasting disease monitoring program.

State Veterinarian Dr. Paul McGraw reported this week a white-tailed deer on an Oneida County hunting preserve has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

The National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, reported the final test results back to the state.

The animal was a 3-year-old buck and was one of about 425 deer in the 570-acre preserve operating as Three Lakes Trophy Ranch LLC. The deer was born on the premises and shot in the preserve.