Is the issue of chronic wasting disease causing tension between Wisconsin’s hunters and the state’s natural resources department?
From this story in the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune
Tediously slow but invariably lethal, chronic wasting disease is the most significant threat ever to face Wisconsin’s whitetail deer population and its hunting culture, wildlife officials say. But tell that to a hunter and you likely will see an eye roll or hear criticism of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ CWD management efforts. “I don’t think CWD is enough of a threat to do what they’re doing to the deer herd and to the state’s hunting,” said Andy Townsend, 24, of Milton, who shot and later ate a CWD-positive buck in January. “I’m friends with 100 guys, and 99 percent think this is getting kind of absurd and they should just let (CWD) run its course.”
_Extensive studies so far have yielded no evidence of human health risks from CWD. Questions remain about its potential impact on the age and size of the state’s deer herd. “Prevalence and distribution continue to slowly grow,” said Davin Lopez, DNR biologist and CWD team leader. “Ultimately, it could reduce deer numbers to a level that would significantly impact hunting permanently.” The state’s highest concentration of CWD is in a 210-square-mile section of southern Wisconsin in Dane and Iowa counties, where nearly 12 percent of all deer are CWD-positive, according to DNR estimates completed this month. The previous high in that area was 8.4 percent in 2008.
What do you think? Would you eat a deer that had tested positive for CWD? Are efforts to eliminate and control CWD a necessity or overkill?