Wisconsin DNR Tries To Dispose of Diseased Deer

Date: July 11, 2002

Source: News Room

Hunters are looking to kill every deer in one part of southwestern Wisconsin to halt an outbreak of a fatal disease. But state wildlife officials still don't know how they're going to dispose of the tens of thousands of unwanted carcasses. Cremation is too costly, and landfills won't accept the carcasses for burial. Other possibilities are dissolving them with chemicals or opening a state-owned landfill. The state Department of Natural Resources wants regular hunters and government sharpshooters to kill all the estimated 25,000 deer in a 361-square-mile area of Dane, Iowa and Sauk counties, where 18 deer with chronic wasting disease have been found since last fall. Dane County's landfill buried about 500 carcasses from a spring hunt that was intended to determine how far the disease had spread. Since then, however, the county has told the DNR it won't bury any more. A private landfill in Jefferson County also reversed its policy because of public objections. The cost of incinerating all the deer could reach $1 million, compared with $100,000 for burying them in a landfill.

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