Local man, specialists claim CWD isn't a serious disease Submitted: 12/06/2018
Story By Erin Beu

Local man, specialists claim CWD isn't a serious disease
NORTHWOODS - At Jan Alsager's Three Lakes preserve, hunters pay to get their shot at a trophy deer.

"I've built up my business the way I would want," said Alsager.

He took over the property in 2015, but soon, encountered a problem he thinks is overblown.

"The CWD is not this highly contagious, always fatal disease that [the DNR] wants to make it out to be," said Alsager.

The DNR confirmed two deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease on his property in late 2015. Then, five new cases popped up in 2016.

It let to baiting and feeding bans still in effect as an effort to slow the spread.
"They only seem to find the disease in their lab," said Alsager.

He doesn't believe CWD is as serious as the DNR makes it out to be.
"[They say,] 'Well studies show...studies shows.' Well, I'm tired of hearing about studies shows and assumptions, I want to see scientific evidence," said Alsager.

The DNR says there's no question, CWD is here and it's a threat.

DNR Deer Biologist Curt Rollman pointed to CWD cases affecting deer all over the country.

"There is the potential for hurting deer population, it is an always fatal disease in deer," said Rollman.

It was identified in southern Wisconsin in the early 2000's, but has since spread north.

"It's not going away," said Rollman.

"CWD in my opinion has only hurt the hunting industry," said Alsager.

Alsager isn't the only one who thinks that. Wildlife disease specialist Dr. Don Davis told The Wisconsin State Journal last October, "Much of the concern about CWD is rooted in fear. One fear is how it might affect deer and hunting opportunities…That fear is overblown."

Since Alsager's animals have tested positive for CWD, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has quarantined his land. He can't add more live animals to his preserve and can't take any live animals out.

"I own them. And what I do with them on my property is my business," said Alsager.

Wisconsin Whitetail Trustee Dr. James Kroll seemed to agree. The state hired Kroll in 2011 to review deer management.

In 2016, Kroll noted the disease isn't a game farm or hunting preserve problem. The disease is coming from the wild.

"Deer farms are not the perpetrators of CWD, they are the victims," said Kroll.
Rollman's advice to any doubters of CWD is to be patient and cautious.
"It is new to northern Wisconsin," said Rollman.

However, Alsager says the state shouldn't make decisions that hurt his business if wild deer are to blame.

"It has nothing to do with stopping a disease. It has to do with putting us out of business," said Alsager.

His deer farm is still in business, just under quarantine.
The DNR hasn't found evidence that humans can get sick from eating an infected deer.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


Play Video

WAUSAU - Drivers in Wausau will need to deal with closures on major east-west roads and a bridge over the Wisconsin River this summer.

On Wednesday, the city announced its plans for this year's construction projects.

Wausau will completely reconstruct more than a mile of Townline Road.

Work will also close parts of South First Avenue and Thomas Street, including the Wisconsin River bridge.

"It's going to be an inconvenience. There's no getting around that," said Mayor Robert Mielke. "But I always like to say, when this stuff is done, it's going to be great, so you got to look at it in that positive sense."

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Last year, police officers in Wausau documented hundreds of cases of marijuana possession in the city.

That resulted in more than 250 cases of arrest or criminal referrals.

But if a plan by Gov. Tony Evers is put into place, that number will likely drop in Wausau and around the state. Evers wants to remove penalties for possessing or selling 25 grams or less of marijuana.

Wausau Police Capt. Todd Baeten said the 250 marijuana-possession cases are pretty consistent for his department each year, although he couldn't say how many of them fall under the proposed 25-gram limit.

+ Read More

MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has vetoed an income tax cut bill in an early showdown with legislative Republicans who had moved to weaken the Democrat's powers just weeks before he took office.

Evers' veto Wednesday came on a bill that his party had called a stunt by Republicans. The GOP doesn't have enough votes to override the veto.

Evers is proposing his own income tax cut and plans to include it in the state budget he will unveil next week.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry canceled its distribution for Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Executive Director Guy Hansen told Newswatch 12 the snowfall concerns the staff about safety for patrons and others.  The normal distribution on Wednesdays is from 4-7 p.m.

Hansen says the next round of distribution will be Saturday, Feb. 23 from 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Northwoods food pantries will soon see an increase in donations.

Wednesday, Trig's Grocery began their annual Stuff-A-Truck food drive. 

This is the ninth year for the event. 

Seven Northwoods communities will benefit from the grocery chain's donation efforts. 

Boxes for food, pre-packaged bags, and personal care items are set up at each store location. 

"We do this to give back to the community," said Trig's Rhinelander Assistant Store Director, Tim Gould.

+ Read More

GREEN BAY - Can you name every Packers player by number?  How about list off their entire 2019 schedule?  The latest addition to the Packers Fan Hall of Fame can.

Amy Nelson of Fence, Wis. was named the 21st member during a ceremony at Lambeau Field on Wednesday. Fence is in Florence County.

+ Read More

MADISON - Gov. Tony Evers says he won't be proposing building a new prison in Green Bay.

Evers told reporters Wednesday that while building a new prison is "something we have to weigh," he won't be including funding to do that in the budget he releases next week.

+ Read More
+ More General News