Why ban baiting and recreational feeding of deer?
Reliable science provides support for a ban of baiting and feeding of white-tailed deer to reduce disease risks for CWD. Peer-reviewed research papers published in reputable scientific journals indicate the following:
- Deer can get CWD by ingesting something contaminated with the disease prion
- CWD prions may be shed in feces and saliva
- Disease course and symptoms indicate high potential for transmission where deer are concentrated
- Evidence from captive situations indicates that deer can get CWD from highly contaminated environments.
- Baiting and Feeding causes unnatural concentration of deer
- Reduction of contact through a ban on baiting and feeding is likely very important to eradicating or containing a CWD outbreak
- Baiting and feeding continues to put Wisconsin's deer herd at risk to other serious diseases
In addition, experts in CWD, wildlife disease and deer nutrition support bans on baiting and feeding as part of a comprehensive strategy to prevent and/or manage CWD. Under a baiting and feeding ban, disease outbreaks are more likely to be smaller in scale and more apt to be contained or eliminated. With the long CWD incubation period and other factors that make discovery of a new outbreak difficult, an outbreak that is already widespread when detected because of baiting and feeding may not be able to be contained or eliminated.