WI DNR announces increased efforts to address CWD

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MADISON, Wis. (AP/WMTV) -- The state Department of Natural Resources announced new efforts to control and monitor chronic wasting disease as the fall deer hunting seasons approach.

Deputy DNR Secretary Todd Ambs and Wisconsin Conservation Congress Chairman Larry Bonde spoke during a presentation Tuesday morning.

"We are unified in our interests in responding to and managing CWD," said Ambs. "We look forward to working in collaboration and partnership to slow the spread of CWD."

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress recommended the WI DNR to educate the public about the disease. They recommend materials to be given to hunters and update the DNR website to make it easier to find CWD information.

DNR board members are supportive of the recommendations. The board will be presenting its recommendations to the DNR on CWD management at a Sept. 25 meeting in Mishicot.

Gov. Tony Evers has offered no new strategies for dealing with the disease. DNR Secretary Preston Cole says the governor is waiting to see if research being conducted in other states turns up anything new.

The DNR is already moving ahead with some of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress recommendations. It will be expanding CWD testing kiosks and carcass disposal sites. CWD sampling stations and disposal locations are being added to the Hunt Wild Wisconsin app.

According to the DNR, sampling efforts will increase in 2019. While testing will be available statewide free-of charge, the department will increase efforts in the northern district. The statewide goal for 2019 is 21,000 samples.

A new CWD sample processing center will be built in Poynette and will support reserach projects on composting deer carcass waste and prion persistence and infectivity.

Wisconsin's 2019 deer hunting seasons kick off with archery and crossbow opening Sept. 14. The nine-day gun deer season running Nov. 23 through Dec. 1.