2021 Senate Bill 166 and 2021 Assembly Bill 151 is currently in front of the Wisconsin State Senate’s Natural Resources and Energy Committee. This bill mandates the Department of Natural Resources to provide up to $200,000 in grants in the 2021-23 fiscal biennium for the creation of new sites for the disposal of deer carcasses. DNR must prioritize the development of sites in underserved areas that are affected by chronic wasting disease and ensure the greatest geographic distribution of disposal sites. Disposal sites created with a grant award must be accessible to the general public throughout deer hunting season and may not charge any fee for carcass disposal. Further, this bill also provides that the operator of a landfill may not refuse to accept any deer carcass that is in a bag for disposal.
Proper disposal of deer carcasses is essential to slowing CWD’s spread. This bill makes it easier for hunters to dispose of deer properly, instead of placing potentially infected carcasses on the landscape. One of the easiest ways for hunters to help slow CWD’s spread is to stop human transport of infected deer carcasses. Thus, easy methods of deer carcass disposal will help ensure carcasses from CWD areas are not disposed on the landscape in non-CWD areas. This bill will provide Wisconsin with the necessary funding to allow the public easy access to proper deer disposal.
The Wisconsin Chapter of BHA supports this bill. CWD is a major concern to Wisconsin’s deer herd and hunting heritage and thus far it has not received the attention it deserves. This bill alone will not stop CWD. Rather, it is one step in a long journey to slowing and, hopefully, stopping CWD.