CWD UPDATE August 28, 2003

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has quarantined two game farms in that state. The farms imported approximately 20 whitetail deer from Wisconsin without the proper permits recently. The quarantine affects around 100 deer plus some elk and exotic sheep. The animals were imported from Wisconsin in January of 2002. The two facilities placed under quarantine are owned by the same individual and are two of the three licensed deer farms in New Jersey. A judge recently refused a request by the Department of Environmental Protection to force the owner of the farms to double fence his facilities.

The Fair Chase League of Saskatchewan is asking for a complete ban on baiting and feeding of wildlife in that province. If successful, Saskatchewan would join Alberta and Manitoba in banning baiting and feeding of wildlife.

The Board of Supervisors of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin voted unanimously to ban the baiting and feeding of deer in their County. Farmers and sportsmen in the County had requested that the Board pass such a ban. Similar bans have previously been enacted in the city of Green Bay and in Dane County, Wisconsin. In related news, a key Wisconsin legislative committee Tuesday ordered the DNR board to allow hunters to use bait throughout most of the state and let people in northern Wisconsin feed deer. If the Natural Resources Board doesn’t approve the committee’s proposal or come up with a compromise, legislators may kill a statewide baiting and feeding ban scheduled to take effect Sept. 1. To date, the DNR Board has stood fast and refused to widely liberalize the regulations. At this time, it appears that if baiting and feeding is liberalized in Wisconsin, it will be because of actions by the legislature, not the DNR Board.

Governor Pataki of New York has vetoed a bill that would have prohibited canned hunts in that state. The bill passed the New York legislature by a 2 to 1. New York already banns hunting of non-native species behind high wire enclosures of 10 acres or less and this legislation would have banned it on all high fence areas. The bill applied to non-native species only and permitted the continuation of the practice of hunting whitetail deer behind high wire.

The Larimer County, Colorado Commission has banned the disposal of CWD infected carcasses in landfills in that County. Citing the fact that little is known about the potential for environmental contamination, the commission voted to ban the use of landfills for disposal. Earlier, the Commission had refused permission for the placing of an incinerator in the County for burning of carcasses.

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