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More Scientists Needed For CWD Effort: Evers, Cole

US Fish & Wildlife Services

Some observers were surprised when looking at Governor Tony Evers proposed budget there wasn't a large increase in funding to battle Chronic Wasting Disease in the white-tail deer herd.

During a visit last week to Rhinelander, Evers says the goal is to get more researchers within the DNR first...

"...We believe our efforts in the Department of Natural Resources in increasing the footprint of science in that department and adding more scientists to the DNR, that will get us a long way towards solving this huge problem we have in the state of Wisconsin. It's not that we're dismissing the issue of CWD, it's obviously a very important issue for our state. Tourism, hunting and natural resources. We believe the first place to start is around that...."

DNR Secretary-designee Preston Cole says the department is in the midst of a study...

"We have a four-year science study going on right now. It would not be prudent of us to roll out science-based activities and not have the science completed. We've paid $990,000 just on testing and surveillance on this disease and the implications it might have. We're going to make sure we're very thoughtful when we roll something out we're going to make sure our science was there we have our partners there. This is a very decimating disease to the deer herd and we take this very seriously...."

There are currently 56 CWD affected counties . Of these counties, 26 counties have had one or more wild CWD positive deer, 18 have had one or more captive CWD positive deer and the remaining are within 10 miles of a wild or captive CWD positive in an adjacent county.

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