LANSING —State Rep. John Kivela (D-Marquette) introduced House Bill 4424 this week to increase the penalties for illegally bringing a deer carcass into Michigan from another state that is known to have deer that test positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). Kivela introduced the same bill in the previous session. That bill, House Bill 5146, won approval in the House but died in the Senate.
“Last year, my House colleagues understood the importance of a healthy deer herd to the U.P. economy, and joined me in trying to prevent infected deer from Wisconsin from coming into the U.P. and endangering our deer herd. Deer hunting in the U.P. is still threatened by this possibility, so I hope I can again win support in the House and see this bill finally win Senate approval.”
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 in recent firearm deer hunting seasons, according to data from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Michigan’s nine confirmed cases of CWD have all occurred in mid-Michigan around the state Capitol region.
“Hunting is an important part of the U.P. economy as well as the state economy, so we have to be as vigilant about protecting the U.P. deer herd as we are about tracking the presence of CWD in Mid-Michigan,” said Kivela. “I am hopeful that this year, the Senate will agree on the need to pass this important legislation.”
 Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Bi-Weekly CWD Status Update-Updated 01/06/2017 http://www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases/0,4579,7-186-25806-357110–,00.html