Wisconsin's new CWD rules under threat

“In any moment of decision, the best thing to do is the right thing, the next best thing to do is the wrong thing, and the worst thing that you can do is nothing.” – Theodore Roosevelt

For too long, the State of Wisconsin has done the worst thing in the battle against Chronic Wasting Disease.    But, after years of adopting a relatively hands-off approach to managing the disease, earlier this year, the DNR released the results of a study that confirmed what studies from across the nation and from across the world had already shown; the disease is spreading and its spread poses a threat to the future of deer hunting.

In response, this May, Governor Walker recommended an emergency rule to slow the spread of the disease in Wisconsin. Wisconsin BHA applauded this proposed rule change which, among other things, would require that deer killed in CWD affected counties be either boned out or quartered before being removed from the county. The spinal column and head could not be transported across county lines unless it was taken to a licensed taxidermist or meat processor within 72 hours.  This rule was backed by the state’s biologists and was approved unanimously by the Natural Resources Board. No one believes that this rule alone will defeat CWD; however, by controlling the transport of those portions of the deer most likely to contain the infectious agents known as prions, the hope is to slow the spread of the disease and to gain the one thing that we are running out of in this fight; Time.

It is an important first step in managing a growing issue that could have serious impacts on future deer populations and deer hunting traditions if left unchecked On Monday, Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater), Chairman of the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules, announced that he would convene that body to consider suspending the emergency rule. In his statement, Nass referred to the rule as “burdensome” to Wisconsin hunters.

“Burdensome” actions taken by previous generations gave us the abundance of resources that we have today.  We are not burdened by our role in ensuring future generations have those resources. We are privileged to have it.

Wisconsin BHA urges members to join us in defending the Wisconsin DNR’s proposed rules to help prevent the spread of CWD.  Contact the members of the committee and let them know that we as hunters understand our responsibility to not only the resource, but to the future generations of hunters in Wisconsin.  There will be a public hearing on October 1st at 10 am as well we urge all to attend.



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