The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been notified that a farm-raised deer in Eau Claire County has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The notification came from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. As a result, a ban on feeding and baiting of deer has been placed over a 10 mile radius of the Town of Fairchild, where the deer was found on a deer farm.
The feeding and baiting ban is required under state law, and applies to farm-raised or free-roaming domestic or wild animals that test positive for CWD or tuberculosis. The DNR will renew the feeding and baiting ban in Eau Claire county for three years and has enacted a two-year ban in Jackson and Clark counties effective Dec. 13.
A DNR press release highlights that bait piles can encourage deer to congregate unnaturally around a shared food source near sick deer. This causes CWD to spread. Infection can be left behind in the saliva and urine of afflicted deer. The ban comes as the winter hunting season for deer continues across the state. In September, the DNR also confirmed that tissue samples from dead deer in La Crosse County tested positive for the virus which causes Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease in deer. A landowner reported finding eight dead deer on a 200-acre property.
Neither CWD nor Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease are known to infect humans. Nevertheless, the DNR recommends that any deer taken by hunters during the season be tested for diseases before consumption. The DNR has kiosk stations where hunters can test for CWD.
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