MADISON – A new publication titled Controlling Chronic Wasting Disease in Wisconsin (PDF) is now available online and in DNR offices across Wisconsin.

The publication is a progress report on the first three years of Wisconsin’s CWD control efforts and progress to date in the areas of CWD research, disease surveillance, human health protection, communication and outreach, and disease prevention and control.

“We’ve learned a great deal about this disease since its discovery in Wisconsin in February 2002,” said report author and DNR wildlife population ecologist, Robert Rolley. “There is still a great deal more we are hoping to learn in the coming months and years as results come in from the more than three dozen CWD research projects currently in progress. The recent International CWD Symposium held in Madison highlighted many new research projects and management efforts under way by states with CWD in their deer or elk herds.”

“There is measurable progress out there,” said Alan Crossley, DNR wildlife biologist and CWD project manager, “landowners and hunters have reduced wild deer densities in the core area of the disease but it is still too early to predict whether or not Wisconsin’s CWD management program will be successful in eradicating CWD from the state. There is still a lot of work to be done and that work is important to all of Wisconsin. CWD is a statewide issue that poses a significant threat to our deer herd and it’s going to take a long term commitment if we are going to be successful.”

The report also discusses results of sociological research into public knowledge and support of Wisconsin’s CWD management efforts. Several different studies have all found that a strong majority of hunters want CWD eliminated from the state.

“Successful eradication of CWD from Wisconsin requires cooperation and communication among natural resource and agricultural agencies, hunters, landowners and captive deer and elk producers,” said Tom Hauge, director of DNR Bureau of Wildlife Management. “The consequences of not attempting to control the disease are clear – the prevalence and spread of CWD will increase as will the impacts on our deer hunting culture and economy.”

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