“I thank my colleagues for supporting my efforts to protect our deer herd, and the businesses and communities that rely on a healthy deer herd and successful hunting season,” said Kivela, who is the Democratic vice chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. “Wisconsin communities close to the border with the U.P. have already reported deer with CWD, so it’s important that we take these steps now to prevent chronic wasting disease from infecting U.P. deer.”
Kivela’s bill would increase the penalties for illegally bringing a deer carcass into Michigan from another state with the known presence of CWD to a fine of between $500 and $2,000, and/or a sentence of up to 90 days in jail.
Although the U.P. hasn’t seen cases of CWD in the herd, there has been a decline in the harvest for the most recent firearm deer hunting season, according to data from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Michigan’s seven[i] confirmed cases of CWD have all occurred in mid-Michigan around the state Capitol region.
“We have to be proactive and do all we can to keep CWD out of the deer herd in the U.P., because once it shows up, it will be hard to contain and that would be devastating to our U.P. economy,” said Kivela. “I look forward to working with the Senate to approve my bill and see it signed into law.”
[i] Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Bi-Weekly CWD Status Update-Updated 5/13/2016. http://www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases/0,4579,7-186-25806-357110–,00.html