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Democrat senator says Republicans blocking efforts to control CWD

As hunters across Wisconsin prepare for the opening weekend of deer hunting, Democrats are doubling down on efforts to provide additional resources for testing, research, and Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) management.

The package of bills, known as the Healthy Herd, Healthy Hunt package, would provide critical investments and funding for research to prevent the spread of CWD. Despite 56 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties having reported cases of CWD, the Healthy Herd, Healthy Hunt package is blocked in the Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry.

In an effort to address this issue before the Senate adjourned for the year, Democrats made a motion to provide funding for CWD testing kiosks across the state where hunters may drop off deer carcass samples for testing. The motion was rejected on a party-line vote by Republicans.

“Wisconsin’s wildlife and sporting tradition is an iconic and vital part of the Coulee Region’s heritage,” said Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “The ongoing spread of CWD is a serious threat to Wisconsin’s deer herd, which limits hunting opportunities and impacts the tourism industry in communities throughout our state. In rural Wisconsin, a successful deer season drives business to rural restaurants, hotels and is an invaluable source of food security for families. Democrats want to ensure the preservation of Wisconsin’s wildlife and sporting heritage for future generations and these bills are an important step in the right direction.”

Senate Republicans limited floor debate to nine days during the 2019 legislative session. The ongoing spread of CWD will continue to threaten Wisconsin’s deer herd due to Republican inaction.