Wis. DNR Proposes Modifications to Captured Wildlife Laws and Policies

By KBJR News 1

Credit: Krista Burns

Wis. DNR Proposes Modifications to Captured Wildlife Laws and Policies

August 29, 2013 Updated Aug 29, 2013 at 10:43 AM CST

Madison, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has outlined multiple proposals to modify the state's current wildlife laws and policies.

The proposals are now ready for review from the Natural Resources Board in September after Governor Scott Walker asked the secretaries of the DNR and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to examine the current laws and policies,

The following modification are in the proposal:
Immediate reintroduction of wild animals into the wild
After voluntarily collecting an illegally captured wild animal, DNR staff would reintroduce the animal to the wild if it does not pose a threat to public health, the health of wildlife, or to the animal itself. In the case of deer, if a deer originates in a Chronic Wasting Disease zone, it could only be reintroduced in a CWD zone.

Ability of a licensed rehabilitator to rehabilitate wild animals for reintroduction to the wild
If a wild animal cannot be immediately released into the wild, but could be safely released after rehabilitation, it would be taken to a licensed rehabilitator. In the case of deer, following rehabilitation, a deer which originated in a CWD zone could only be reintroduced into a CWD zone.

Restricted use of euthanasia
DNR staff would only euthanize a wild animal if it is sick, highly likely to be diseased, or a threat to public health or the health of other wildlife. Additionally, the proposal calls for the following change which would require action by the state legislature to change state law:

Ability of an individual to care for a captured deer with proper health and disease protections
Individuals who illegally hold a captured wild deer would still face citations and penalties for illegally possessing the deer. They may be able to keep the deer if they meet a series of regulations to ensure the health of the deer and the state’s deer population as a whole. These include, but are not limited to, specific size and space requirements for an enclosure, health tests administered by a licensed veterinarian, and a notification process to both DNR and DATCP.

“Removing illegally-held wildlife takes an emotional toll on those holding the animal as well as those whose job it is to enforce the law,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. “Ideas and opinions from citizens of this state, along with sound science, shape our natural resource laws and policies. I look forward to working with policy makers to improve the way Wisconsin manages wildlife.”

Stepp went on to say that the proposal is not designed to encourage individuals to take animals from the wild.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns
kburns@kbjr.com