- There's serious question about the health and future
of the state's bucks and does after the deer version of mad cow disease
moves from the west to Wisconsin.
- State wildlife experts are calling an infection of fatal
chronic wasting disease a nightmare they never thought would come to
- Now they're struggling to find ways to fight the deer
version of mad cow disease before it spreads throughout Wisconsin's herd
-- and possibly to people.
- However, right now there are a lot more questions than
answers, News 3 reported.
- Farmers in Vermont Township have already spotted sick,
and staggering deer near the place where three bucks were shot last fall.
Tests just in show all suffered from fatal chronic wasting disease, the
deer version of mad cow disease.
- Until now the disease had been confined to western
such as Colorado and Wyoming.
- "We have to assume the worst, and plan for the
and if it's not that bad, then we've overreacted, but I'd prefer to over
react in this case," said Sen. James Baumgart, D-Sheboygan, the state
Senate's Environmental Resources chair.
- Baumgart has called for emergency testimony about the
disease that no one seems to know much about, except for the fact that
up to 70 percent of deer die when exposed.
- "We could be looking at a problem with tremendous
impact on not only the whole white-tail deer herd, but public perception
of the opportunity to hunt in that area," said Dr. Sarah Hurley, DNR
- Extraordinary measures most likely to be implemented
include aerial surveys, hiring sharp shooters to get more samples and
heads from roadkill deer to labs.
- Right now there's no evidence people are in
- "But no one can predict with certainty that CWD
can never cross the human spectrum barrier," said Dr. James
state veterinary epidemiologist.
- For now, hunters told News 3 that they don't plan on
eating any deer meat.
- "Until more tests get done, I think people are going
to be a little hesitant on going deer hunting and then eating the
said Rick Urben, a Dane County deer hunter.
- Some Wisconsin DNR experts are in Nebraska brainstorming
with their colleagues from Wyoming and Colorado. Many say federal funds
will be needed because getting a handle on this is going to be
- What Is It?
- Chronic wasting disease is a neurological disease found
in deer and elk, previously contained in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and
- The disease attacks the brains of infected deer and elk,
causing the animals to become emaciated, display abnormal behavior, lose
bodily functions and die.
- The Centers for Disease Control have not found any links
between chronic wasting disease and any neurological disease that affects
- Should Hunters Be Concerned?
- Health officials advise hunters not to consume meat from
animals known to be infected with the disease. In addition, they suggest
hunters take simple precautions when field dressing deer or elk taken in
areas where the disease is found, such as:
- * Wear rubber gloves when field dressing carcasses.
* Minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues.
* Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing is completed.
* Avoid consuming brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes
of harvested animals.