Dane County,Wisc. bans intentional deer feeding


Mar 11, 2001
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May 18, 2002

Dane County Board bans deer feeding

The Associated Press

MADISON — Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk signed ordinances Friday banning the intentional feeding of wild deer and creating a task force to study chronic wasting disease.

The Dane County Board approved the measures Thursday as part of the county’s efforts to fight the disease, which causes deer to waste away and die.

The new ordinance calls for a fine of $100 to $300 for anyone caught feeding wild deer in the unincorporated areas of the county, whether for recreation or to keep the deer away from crops or landscaping.

Experts believe the disease is spread by animal-to-animal contact.

Board members are asking incorporated areas, such as the city of Madison, to pass similar rules.

Board member Bill Hitzemann of Mount Horeb said the ordinance is a mute point since the state Department of Natural Resources might soon have the power to regulate the feeding of wild animals.

The Legislature approved a bill this week to give the DNR new powers to regulate the feeding of deer and to hunt them.

The bill, which is awaiting the governor’s signature, is part of the DNR’s plan to kill all of the estimated 15,000 deer in a 287-mile area in an effort to stop the spread of the disease, which is infecting the herd in southwestern Wisconsin.

The DNR anticipates killing only about 500 deer this spring and summer, with most of the animals harvested this fall.

Fourteen deer in the Mount Horeb area have tested positive for the disease.

The 11-member task force the board created will look at issues such as putting the dead deer in the county’s landfill and whether the shooting of deer will be allowed in the county’s parks.

One of the ordinances Falk signed included a provision requiring any game farm owner to report the death of a deer or elk to the state agriculture department within 24 hours of learning of its death.

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