Wisconsin lawmaker introduces bills to prevent spread of CWD

By Emily Friese, WKOW

MADISON (WKOW) — As hunting season approaches in Wisconsin, a state lawmaker is introducing several bills designed to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in Wisconsin.

Rep. Katrina Shankland’s (D-Stevens Point) “Healthy Herd, Healthy Hunt” legislative package includes bills that would provide funding for CWD research and management, funding for CWD testing kiosks, and funding for carcass disposal sites and dumpsters.

“Hunting is a way of life and proud tradition in Wisconsin,” Shankland said, “This is also a multi-billion dollar industry. We have to do more to protect our deer herd, to ensure a healthy hunt and to maintain Wisconsin’s fine tradition and proud tradition of hunting — our sporting heritage.”

CWD is a contagious neurological disease of deer, elk and moose that is caused by an abnormal protein called a prion. These prions cause brain degeneration in infected animals and lead to extreme weight loss, abnormal behavior and loss of bodily functions.

This fatal disease was first found in Wisconsin in 2002. Since then, more than 4,000 deer have tested positive for the disease. Of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, there are currently 56 CWD affected counties.