Rep. Jarchow wants deer baiting/feeding to be allowed in CWD-affected counties

Apparently, Rep. Adam Jarchow, R-Balsam Lake, wants to avoid another thumping in his effort to lift the state’s requirement to place a deer baiting and feeding ban in counties that are impacted by the discovery of chronic wasting disease (CWD) or bovine tuberculosis (TB).
In a second effort to achieve this ban lift, Jarchow followed the legal requirements of posting notices for a public hearing, but that notice caught sportsmen flat-footed and scrambling to organize opposition to Jarchow’s efforts.
Jarchow has scheduled a public hearing for Wednesday, March 15 at 10:30 a.m. in Room 417 North (GAR Hall) in the State Capitol on his bill, numbered Assembly Bill 61. If passed, that bill would roll back baiting and feeding bans. The hearing will be in front of the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage.
 
Jarchow’s bill reads: “This bill provides that, after any positive test for CWD or TB has been confirmed, the rule prohibiting feeding deer may not be in effect for longer than 36 months in the county where the tested animal was located or longer than 24 months in neighboring counties”
 
“That is not good disease management policy and I sincerely hope it is defeated,” said George Meyer, executive director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation.
 
Under Gov. Scott Walker’s watch, DNR employees have not been allowed to testify at public hearings. Upon learning about the hearing, Meyer wrote a letter to DNR Deputy Secretary Kurt Thiede, pleading with Thiede to either testify himself on March 15 or allow other DNR employees with CWD experience to do so.
 
For as little as Wisconsin is doing these days to manage or slow the spread of CWD, the feeding/baiting ban is the one main tool in place to do so. Jarchow is going down the wrong road on this one – and for a second time. His previous effort, which had more lead time than this one, was thoroughly trounced by sportsmen. We’re looking at short notice here, but sportsmen should do whatever they can to comment during this public hearing.

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