Efforts To Decrease CWD Are Not Working

The state has spent $27 million to eradicate CWD and with the deer hunting season starting in just two days, some say Wisconsin's approach to the disease should be reevaluated.

"It's clear that we're not going to eradicate this disease from Wisconsin anytime soon so we really think that what we have to concentrate on is doing what we can to prevent this disease from spreading," says Department of Wildlife Program Tom Hauge.

"Despite efforts to prevent the spread of CWD, a recent audit shows deer in CWD zones actually increased from about 26 deer per square to about 38.

"With a lot of deer in that infected area there's more opportunity for sick deer to infect an abundant healthy deer in the same area," says Hauge.

A map shows the areas registered positive for CWD, as the disease spreads the state is looking into new ways to prevent it. But for local hunters like Lance Schmitz the past five years have been long.

"It's really taken the wind out of our sales."

The department of Natural Resources has taken steps to limit CWD infected deer, but Schmitz says killing off more deer should not be one of them.

"I think they want to see deer as a hunter I want to go out there and see deer and rather than not see deer."

5 years ago when the state first learned of the disease some thought it could affect humans. The Department of Health and Family Services isn't ruling out the possibility.

"Right now there's no scientific evidence to indicate that it is a potential health threat to humans but you know it still remains somewhat unclear," says State Public Health Veterinarian Jim Kazmierczak.

And the department of Wildlife says it will do all it can to keep the sport going

"We think it's investment worth making, the deer herd in the state of Wisconsin is very important."

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