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DNR asks people in central Wisconsin to help prevent spread of CWD


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The state DNR is asking people in central Wisconsin to help prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease in the area’s wild deer herd.

About 40 people went to a meeting Tuesday night at the Mead Wildlife Area near Milladore, after a roaming deer was found to have the fatal brain disease for the first time in the region.

DNR wildlife supervisor Kris Johansen said CWD will spread in central Wisconsin if nothing’s done about it – and the agency expects to have a more definitive plan in the coming months.

For now, Johansen asked people to help the DNR find deer with symptoms of the disease – things like excess saliva, an emaciated appearance, and an inability to stand. Officials said this fall’s deer hunting seasons will not have any changes – but there would be no guarantees for future years if CWD spreads.

Officials have tried to keep chronic wasting disease under control in southern Wisconsin for over a decade with things like extra hunting seasons – and bans on deer baiting and feeding which have proven to be controversial.

The DNR says five cases of CWD have been confirmed this year outside the southern Wisconsin zone – and in the zone’s core area, just over one of every five adult bucks have been infected.