Wisconsin DNR discusses Chronic Wasting Disease

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The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is finding new ways to help prevent Chronic Wasting Disease.

The DNR says the fatal disease affects the nervous system of deer and other hooved animals in Wisconsin. It belongs to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases.

DNR officials also say that in order to find solutions for the disease, it is important to know where each deer is throughout the state when they contract the disease. Recently they have found the southern part of Wisconsin has a larger population of deer with CWD.

Wildlife officials also say it is essential for hunters to get their deer tested in order to help prevent the disease.

"It is critical that we collect that information and as of lately, we're not getting all of the samples that we need here in Eau Claire and regions north of Eau Claire. We need more data. We need to have hunters go to our kiosks, drop off the skull, the spinal column or call us," Secretary of the Wisconsin DNR Preston Cole said.

The data is essential to the DNR, according to Cole.

"Through that surveillance, through that testing, we can predict where that disease is going and what the number within a particular population is. So we use, quite frankly, science to determine where the disease is progressing in our herd and then what we can do on the landscape to mitigate some of that progression."

Cole says that every other year the Department of Natural Resources holds discussions with the Conversation Congress that includes the public.

These general meetings allow people to bring new ideas on ways to improve hunting and help prevent Chronic Wasting Disease in Wisconsin.

To learn how to test a deer sample, click here.