Baiting and Feeding Ban in Effect in Marathon and Wood Counties December 15, 2008

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Corey Graff
 
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Baiting and Feeding Ban in Effect in Marathon and Wood Counties December 15, 2008

Postby Corey Graff » Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:25 am

MADISON – The Department of Natural Resources announced today that, in
accordance with existing state law, a baiting and feeding ban on white
tailed deer will go into effect on December 15, 2008 in Marathon and Wood
counties.

The action is being taken because a CWD-positive white-tailed deer
was confirmed by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer
Protection on a 119-acre shooting preserve in Portage County. Baiting and
feeding of deer was banned in Portage County several years ago due to
confirmation of CWD positive deer on a deer farm near Almond in September
2002.

Marathon and Wood counties are within a 10-mile radius of the Junction City
deer farm on which this CWD-positive deer was confirmed. State law requires
that counties or portions of counties within a 10-mile radius of a game farm
or free-ranging CWD-positive are included in the baiting and feeding
prohibition. With the addition of Marathon and Wood, baiting and feeding of
deer is banned in 28 Wisconsin counties.

"The discovery of a new CWD case in another Wisconsin county is
disappointing," said DNR Secretary Matt Frank. "As required by state law, we
are extending the ban on baiting and feeding of deer to Marathon and Wood
counties to reduce the risk of further disease transmission," Frank said.

"Baiting and feeding of deer unnecessarily increases the risk of spreading
CWD and tuberculosis (TB) to our wild deer herd and also spreading TB to the
state's dairy herd. Animal health is important to preserving our great
hunting tradition and our dairy industry," Frank said. TB in Minnesota's
deer herd has led to expensive dairy herd quarantines, and in just the last
few months, CWD has been identified for the first time in Michigan's deer
herd.

Frank added, "Baiting and feeding also contributes to higher deer
populations which threaten the regeneration of our forests and, in turn,
Wisconsin's forest-based industries And it leads to more car-deer
collisions," Frank said.

Effective December 15, 2008, hunters can no longer use bait to hunt deer in
Marathon and Wood counties. The feeding of deer in these counties is
prohibited as well. Individuals can still feed birds and small mammals
provided the feeding devices are at a sufficient height or design to prevent
access by deer and the feeding device is within 50 yards of a human
dwelling.

The 28 counties in which baiting and feeding of white tailed deer is banned
include: Adams, Calumet, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green,
Iowa, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, Lafayette, Manitowoc, Marathon (effective
12/15/08,) Marquette, Milwaukee, Portage, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk,
Sheboygan, Vernon, Walworth, Waukesha, Waushara, and Wood (effective
12/15/08) counties.

In the past two years, the case for prohibiting baiting and feeding deer in
Wisconsin has been strengthened by additional research into deer disease
transmission and the behavioral responses of deer to the repeated placement
of small volumes of food. Read a DNR baiting and feeding report (pdf) on the
DNR Web site.

In cooperation with Wisconsin Public Television's Dan Small, the department
has also produced a short video that explores the many issues associated
with baiting and feeding. For radio reporters, Chief Conservation Warden
Randy Stark has recorded a sound bite on the risks of baiting and feeding on
herd and forest health.

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