On February 11th, the Minnesota Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers welcomed the introduction of Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn’s Comprehensive Plan to Address Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Outbreak. The plan includes a series of bills, outlined here, which would:
- Require active captive cervid operators to use double fencing.
- Place a moratorium on new captive cervid operations and include a process for buy-outs of existing operations.
- Give the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) authority of management of captive cervid operations.
- Provide needed funding to the Minnesota DNR for CWD management activities.
Deer are the No. 1 hunted species in Minnesota, and deer hunters generate more than $458 million in economic value for the state of Minnesota each year.
Minnesota BHA Co-Chair Matt Lee attended a press conference organized around the introduction of this plan and provided the following statement:
“These bills take solid measures to help address the threats posed by Chronic Wasting Disease, which has been repeatedly found in animals within or near cervidae farms in Minnesota. Minnesota Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is solidly behind the fact-based science that underlies the study of CWD including sources and spread of the disease. We are also supportive of the swift actions that need to be taken to minimize the spread of this horrible disease.”
Minnesota BHA offered their endorsement of the plan, noting that the actions outlined would help limit the spread of CWD from captive cervid operations while also providing the Minnesota DNR with the management authority and funding needed to limit the spread of CWD in the state.