CWD detection in Lincoln, Langlade counties results in baiting, feeding ban

Wisconsin State Farmer

MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has received confirmation that a wild deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease in northeast Lincoln County, south of Rhinelander.

Chronic wasting disease is fatal to deer, elk and moose. Since it is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) and in the same family as two diseases known to be fatal to humans (mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob) researchers and health officials have long wanted to know more about the potential for inter-species CWD spread.

As required by law, this finding will establish baiting and feeding bans for Lincoln and Langlade counties effective Feb. 1, 2018. The ban for Lincoln County will be enacted for three years. Langlade County is within 10 miles of the Lincoln County positive wild deer, and due to being adjacent to a county with a CWD positive test result, a two-year ban will be enacted. Oneida county is already under baiting and feeding bans and those bans will be renewed with this newest detection.

The two-year-old buck harvested in northeast Lincoln County is the first confirmed positive deer in this county.

"This latest discovery is troublesome and is something we take very seriously," said DNR Secretary Dan Meyer. "We will start a dialogue with the local community through the County Deer Advisory Council on what steps should be taken next. While there is no silver bullet remedy to eradicate CWD, we have learned from experience that having the local community involved is a key factor in managing this disease."


The DNR will also take the following steps:

  • Establish a 10-mile radius disease surveillance area around this positive location
  • Conduct surveillance activities to assess disease distribution and prevalence including: encourage reporting of sick deer, sample vehicle-killed adult deer, sample adult deer harvested under agricultural damage permits and ample adult deer harvested under urban deer hunts in the area.
  • Establish additional CWD sampling locations prior to the 2018 deer seasons

These actions are a very important next step in further understanding the potential geographic distribution of the disease and if other animals are infected within Wisconsin's deer herd in the area.

As has been demonstrated in the past in other parts of the state, local citizen involvement in the decision-making process as well as management actions to address this CWD detection will have the greatest potential for success.