2019-21 Budget Priorities

We request Wisconsin’s legislators and Governor Evers act to:

1.    Create safe and convenient carcass disposal – Wisconsin’s deer hunters need and want safe and convenient disposal options for their deer carcass waste.

a. Require landfills and associated waste-water treatment facilities to accept deer carcasses in waste streams effective 1/1/2020. If needed, we support providing a liability exemption to such facilities for accepting deer carcasses.

b. Provide enough funding for DNR to place and operate up to 5 deer carcass dumpster sites in each county.

2.     Improve Wisconsin’s CWD testing system – CWD testing is fundamental to informing Wisconsin’s CWD response and helping hunters make informed decisions before consuming their deer.  CWD testing rates within Wisconsin’s most infected counties are very low and statewide surveillance to detect new infections requires 3-4 years to complete.  DNR’s CWD sampling center is a leased facility and is currently for sale by its owner. Wisconsin needs a permanent home for CWD testing.

a. Double the number testing options within CWD infected areas. Options should include self-serve kiosks, self-sampling kits and cooperative testing locations.

b. Build a permanent DNR CWD sample processing center to efficiently process CWD samples and provide quick testing results to hunters, and expand test capacity during high-volume time periods (gun deer season) at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.

c. Direct that the $5 transfer for CWD management applies to all bonus permits issued statewide – regardless of whether CWD has been detected within the deer management unit.

3.     Improve bio-security at Wisconsin’s deer and elk farms – CWD-infected deer farms pose a significant risk to Wisconsin’s wild deer herd.  CWD transmission can occur through deer to deer contact across fencing or through deer escapes.  The risk of CWD spread from infected farms must be greatly reduced.

a. Direct DATCP to depopulate all existing infected farms by December 31, 2019.  Provide DATCP sufficient funding to make payments for all depopulated herds.

b. Create a $1 million/year deer farm fencing assistance fund for farms installing a 2nd bio-security fence to prevent contact with wild deer. Require a 50% match requirement from participants.

c. Establish a segregated escaped deer fund.  The fund would receive revenue from a $1/animal annual assessment on all captive cervid facilities. Funds to be used to cover: 1) costs of recovery or removal of escaped animals, and 2) 50% cost-sharing of approved deer farm gate construction to minimize escapes.

d. Require that all Wisconsin deer and elk farms and shooting preserves participate in the USDA CWD herd certification program.

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