Wisconsin and Illinois ink cooperative agreement addressing CWD in deer

MADISON - Wisconsin and Illinois have reached agreement on guidelines for cooperative management of chronic wasting disease (CWD), the fatal neurological disease of deer that has been confirmed in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois counties.

"The wildlife in question - whitetail deer - obviously don't recognize state lines," said DNR Secretary Matt Frank. "Science is telling us that we are dealing with a single widespread occurrence of CWD so it makes sense that we cooperate with our neighbors to the south in working to control its spread to healthy deer."

The agreement, referred to as a memorandum of understanding or MOU, identifies mutual goals for managing CWD. Wisconsin and Illinois also will develop a cooperative plan they hope will lead to a more effective and ultimately successful management program.

Wildlife biologists and wildlife health experts from Illinois and Wisconsin DNRs have been talking and sharing experiences for many years. A formal agreement signed by the two agency leaders will benefit both states by making efforts both more efficient and cost effective.

Both states have identified reducing deer densities and limiting geographic spread of the disease through herd reduction strategies as important goals. Cross-border research opportunities will be explored and the states plan to share common public messages relative to outreach and education about CWD. Staff is authorized to assist the other state when needed in CWD control activities when expected results are considered mutually beneficial. Data sharing in particular will be helpful to identifying the most effective management strategies.

"The ultimate goal in this effort is to preserve the health and quality of our white-tailed deer resource and the traditions associated with deer viewing and hunting for now and for generations to come," said Frank.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Davin Lopez - (608) 267-2948