Wisconsin Farm Bureau board member testifies at DATCP meeting on deer fencing
On Tuesday, July 24 Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation (WFBF) District 7 Board member Adam Kuczer testified on behalf of the WFBF at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Board Meeting in Sheboygan. Kuczer shared concerns on the proposed deer fencing requirement, ATCP 10, that would require deer farmers in areas affected by Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) to install a secondary fence around existing enclosures.
“Wisconsin Farm Bureau is extremely concerned with the proposed fencing rule,” Kuczer said. “It is abundantly clear that this will have a detrimental impact on individuals in the business of raising and moving deer within our state.”
WFBF recognizes what a healthy deer herd means to the economic well-being of the state and the hunters that partake in the wonderful tradition of deer hunting each fall. CWD is a very serious threat to all of this, but the proposed rule will not eliminate, nor necessarily slow down, the threat. CWD is prevalent especially in the wild deer population in the southern half of our state — implementing ATCP 10 will not change that.
“The real threat is that this rule will put a vast majority of deer farms out of business simply because they will not be able to absorb the financial burden of putting additional fencing around the existing enclosures,” Kuczer said. “Farmers are facing increased pressure from low market prices all while net farm income is at the lowest level in over a decade.”
WFBF is asking the DATCP to consider the state picking up the cost of fencing materials and to implement the new double fencing requirement six to 12 months after funding becomes available to allow for site planning and preparation.
Additionally, WFBF supports intrastate transfer of deer from farms and preserves that are already affected by CWD, while respecting the merits of prohibiting transfer of deer into a county that has no reported cases of CWD.
“Farmers across the state are sharing their concerns about the future of their livelihood and the negative effect this rule would have for them,” Kuczer shared. “WFBF is hopeful that a reasonable outcome can be reached that protects the interests and safety of deer farms, hunters and the general public.”