A state lawmaker says it’s time to get serious about Chronic Wasting Disease. Representative Nick Milroy, a Democrat from South Range in Douglas County, believes it was a mistake for the state Department of Natural Resources to back off on an aggressive strategy on combating the disease in the state’s deer herd.
“I think that’s why we’re seeing the highest infection rates ever in Wisconsin,” said Milroy. “In some areas the infection rates of adult bucks are around 50 percent.”
The Wisconsin State Journal reported that a state Department of Natural Resources internal review found that the response to CWD was limited by funding and “social/political factors.”
“This all started with the recommendations from Dr. Kroll, who said that we should be taking a more passive approach to CWD, and we are where we are because of that,” said Milroy, who serves on the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage. A Republican member, Representative Joel Kleefisch, did not respond to a request for comment.
“My biggest concern is that any response to the every increasing infection rate of CWD has been bogged down in this bureaucracy of reports and panels and recommendations, and the state really isn’t doing what it needs to do to try to slow down the spread of this disease,” Milroy said, adding that he thinks hunters need to demand action.
“If people don’t want CWD spreading to their corner of the state, they need to be vocal and let their representatives know that we need to do whatever it takes to slow the spread of this disease.”
Dr. James Kroll was the lead consultant in a project to review DNR deer management in 2012. That led to the more passive approach in managing Chronic Wasting Disease – tracking the disease but only moving to address it when there’s an outbreak, rather than creating special zones aimed at trying to eradicate the disease completely