The Wisconsin DNR is enacting a two-year ban on baiting and feeding after receiving confirmation of a deadly disease. The DNR confirms that a wild deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease in the town of Polk in Washington County.
Wisconsin State Law Requires Ban
The state law requires the organization to enact a two-year ban on baiting and feeding. This restriction will start in nearby Ozaukee County and goes into effect on Jan. 5, 2021.
The DNR is also renewing a three-year baiting and feeding ban in Washington County, WTMJ reports.
Chronic Wasting Disease in Wisconsin
The infected deer was an adult buck. It was harvested during the 2020 archery deer season. The buck was tested as part of the DNR’s disease surveillance efforts. However, this is the first case in Washington County the DNR says.
Chronic wasting disease is a fatal infection. It attacked the nervous system in deer, mouse, elk, as well as reindeer/caribou.
“Baiting and feeding bans will renew with each new wild or captive positive CWD/TB result,” the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources states.
The Center for Disease Control states that transmission of CWD is likely spread between animals through body fluids like feces, saliva, blood, or urine, either through direct contact or indirectly through environmental contamination of soil, food or water.
It’s highly contagious and can spread quickly through deer, elk, moose, etc. The CDC also states that scientists believe that the diseases can remain in the environment for a long time even after the infected animal is deceased.
Though the virus is harmful to humans, there have been some conflicting studies. To date, there is no strong evidence for the occurrence of CWD in people. Furthermore, it is not known if people can get infected with CWD proteins.
Nevertheless, experimental studies have risen concern that CWD may pose a risk to humans. Scientists suggest that it is important to prevent human exposures to CWD.