MADISON – The most current scientific knowledge about chronic wasting disease (CWD) — from human health risk and risks to other species, to the role of environmental contamination — will be presented at a meeting this month of an advisory group charged with minimizing the impact of the disease in Wisconsin.

The newly formed Chronic Wasting Disease Stakeholder Advisory Group will hold the second of seven monthly meetings on Saturday, August 18 in Madison. Researchers and scientists from state and federal agencies and the University of Wisconsin will summarize the latest CWD research as well as discuss social constraints of managing the disease in Wisconsin.

The meeting is open to the public and will be held in Madison from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lowell Center Inn and Conference Center, 610 Langdon Street. The CWD advisory group will meet monthly through January 2008.The purpose of the group, whose members reflect a broad spectrum of interests in CWD and a healthy deer population, is to define a common disease management goal for Wisconsin.

The charge of the CWD advisory group is to look at how to minimize the impact of the disease on Wisconsin’s free-ranging deer population, the economy, hunters, landowners and others who benefit from a healthy deer herd. The group will define a common disease management goal for Wisconsin, propose strategies for CWD management, and study the consequences and trade-offs of the various management strategies.

Department of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Hassett said the department cannot manage CWD on its own.

“Cooperation with landowners, hunters, partners and legislators is critical. We believe that by working with the public on Wisconsin’s future CWD management approach, we can find strategies that hunters, landowners and the public can embrace,” Hassett said.

The department will take the recommendations of the group and advance these to the Natural Resources Board. Changes in management as a result of this public planning process are expected to be in place for the 2008 deer seasons.

“These will be challenging and frank discussions. Choices we make today will determine the health of the deer herd we hand down to our children and grandchildren,” Hassett noted.

Members of the CWD advisory stakeholders group include residents from within and outside the areas where CWD has been found, along with representatives from the Conservation Congress, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, the farmed cervid industry, the retail sporting goods industry, food pantries, the Wisconsin Deer Hunters Association, the Wisconsin Meat Processors Association, the Wisconsin Bowhunters Association and the DNR.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Alan Crossley, DNR CWD Project Manager – (608)266-5463