Feds, state pay deer farmers $330k after wiping out herds

Associated Press
A buck stands at a deer farm in northeastern Wisconsin. Several deer farms in Wisconsin were depopulated in an effort to curb the spread of CWD.

MILWAUKEE (AP) - State and federal officials have paid Wisconsin deer farmers more than $330,000 in compensation so far this year after killing their herds out of concerns they were infected with chronic wasting disease.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports CWD was found on three farms this year, resulting in depopulation.

The owners of Windy Ridge Whitetails in Iowa County got $264,155 in compensation, including $136,040 in state fund and $128,115 in federal money for 103 deer killed in May. Tests showed 21 animals were infected.

Dirk and Jane Stolz own a deer preserve in Bayfield County and a deer farm in Washington County. They moved 23 deer from Washington County to the preserve last winter.

One of the remaining deer in Washington County tested positive for CWD in March. State agriculture officials decided to quarantine the Washington County deer and wipe out the herd in Bayfield County, where CWD has not been found yet. They killed 22 deer on the preserve in April; the 23rd deer is missing. The Stolzes received $52,000 in federal money.

Burton Buck Creek Elk in Richland County had its 11-animal herd wiped out in August. The facility got $15,000 in state funds.

Wisconsin is home to 380 deer or elk farms. CWD has been found at 23 of the facilities since 2002. Fourteen have been depopulated, including the three this year.

Meanwhile, the Department of Natural Resources has issued a mandatory testing order for deer killed in nine townships in Dane and Columbia counties after a cow on a Waunakee farm tested positive for bovine tuberculosis in late October.