New Regulations Proposed For Deer Farms

Local News

Democratic lawmakers have introduced a bill that would impose new regulations on deer farms in hopes of slowing chronic wasting disease (CWD). The bill, authored by Representative Dana Wachs and Nick Milroy has deer farmers pushing back. Fox 25/48’s Amanda Tyler has the story.

As research continues to find the cause of chronic wasting disease, today in Madison two lawmakers are hoping to slow the spread of CWD by increasing regulations on deer farmers.

“What this bill does is buy us time, to slow the spread of the disease until science can draw a conclusion.”

Under the bill co-authored by Eau Claire democrat Dana Wachs, all deer farms would have to install electronic monitoring systems indicating when gates are open. Non-whitetail deer farms would have to be fenced; fences would have to be inspected every two years; and all deer farms with CWD would have to double-fence or install electric fencing.

Greg Flees and his family have been in the deer farm industry for 40 years and have land in central Wisconsin. Flees serves on the board for Whitetails of Wisconsin. He says more rules won’t solve the problem.

“So you can put a double fence up and that can create a barrier but that doesn’t solve the problem.”

Flees says deer farms are an easy target to blame for the spread of CWD, as researchers continue to look for answers. Flees says deer farmers could be part of the solution. 

“The game farming industry doesn’t want CWD just as much as anybody else but the game farming industry is the ones that are spending a lot of money to find a cure for CWD.”

Wachs says the legislation is aimed now at containment. He says its the first step.

“Until we know more about CWD, we have to stop the spread of these prions to wild deer outside the confines of deer farms in Eau Claire,”

In Eau Claire, Amanda Tyler Fox 25/48 News at Nine.

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