Wisconsin governor calls special session to address CWD

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Wis. to Hold Session on Deer Disease

Associated Press

May 7, 2002

MADISON, Wis. - Gov. Scott McCallum pledged Tuesday to call a special session of the Legislature next week to give lawmakers a chance to address the outbreak of chronic wasting disease.

The governor's announcement came after Republican and Democratic lawmakers agreed Tuesday to spend $4 million to test Wisconsin deer for the deadly brain disease.

``Getting a handle on, and appropriately managing, this animal health crisis is crucial,'' McCallum said in a statement.

Lawmakers currently are in special session to deal with the state's $1.1 billion budget shortfall caused by falling revenues.

The plan approved by a committee Tuesday to help manage chronic wasting disease would give the Department of Natural Resources the temporary ability to regulate the feeding of wild animals, which wildlife officials say could promote the spread of the disease in deer and elk.

The proposal must be approved by the full Legislature and McCallum.

Fourteen deer in the Mount Horeb area have tested positive for the disease. It is the first time it has been found east of the Mississippi River.

The Natural Resources Board still needs to pass emergency rules to move forward with a plan to use landowners, hunters and sharpshooters to kill 15,000 deer in Dane and Iowa counties to stem spread of the disease. That is expected to happen in June.

On the Net:

Wisconsin State Legislature: http://www.legis.state.wi.us
 
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