Sen. Smith Encourages Hunters to Test and Properly Dispose of Deer This Hunting Season

MADISON – Today, Democratic lawmakers introduced “Healthy Herd, Healthy Hunt,” a package of bills designed to address the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Wisconsin by encouraging hunters to test their deer and properly dispose of deer carcasses.

In the last few years, the spread of CWD has accelerated throughout Wisconsin, affecting the brain of cervids, such as deer, elk and moose. The first case of CWD in the state was confirmed in 2002, but it’s now reached 56 counties, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). CWD poses a threat to our deer herds and Wisconsin’s strong hunting heritage.

There are immediate actions hunters can take to help researchers monitor the spread of CWD. Hunters should test their deer to assist researchers in understanding infection rates and where the disease has spread. Hunters should also properly dispose of deer carcasses to reduce the risk of CWD spreading further.

Senator Jeff Smith (D-Brunswick) and Representative Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) introduced LRB-4072, which would provide $2 million in the 2019-20 biennium to fund carcass disposal sites in locations of the state determined by the DNR.

Sen. Smith released the following statement regarding the introduction of LRB-4072:

“Plain and simple, hunters need to test their deer and properly dispose of deer carcasses. Hunters are our state’s eyes and ears. They’re the ones who stand to lose the most if we don’t stop CWD. These bills are a way to tackle this issue in the short-term as we learn more about this rapidly-spreading disease.

“Republicans and Democrats agree we need to take CWD seriously. These bills are an easy first step for all of us to work together to preserve Wisconsin’s hunting heritage.”