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WUWM's Susan Bence reports on Wisconsin environmental issues.

Wisconsin DNR Spearheads Regional Collaboration To Control Chronic Wasting Disease

Wildlife biologists from seven states met in Madison this week to discuss how they might collaboratively drive down chronic wasting disease in deer populations.

States across the Midwest have been individually grappling with how to control a fatal disease impacting deer. This week, twelve states, including Wisconsin, agreed to work together to control chronic wasting disease, or CWD.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources hosted a two-day gathering in Madison that brought together state wildlife biologists, Wisconsin Tribal Nations' members, as well as state and federal conservation groups.

Together, they came up with these priorities:

  • Expand research into testing methods - More advanced research into testing methodologies that do not require lymph node material. The desire is to develop live animal testing methods that use alternative tissue, while still generating scientifically valid results.
  • Evaluation of management actions - The group agreed that there is a greater need for empirical data to establish whether these actions are sufficiently effective in controlling CWD.
  • Enhanced collaboration on management and communication - Share information across state lines about each state's CWD management rules and inform hunters about how to comply with those rules, especially when new CWD detections are made near state borders.

In Wisconsin, CWD was first detected in 2002 and now affects 56 of the state’s 72 counties.
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Susan is WUWM's environmental reporter.