The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources hopes to max out it's testing efforts for Chronic Wasting Disease this fall.  The agency has a goal of obtaining 24,000 samples to test for the deadly disease that has ravaged the deer population in the Northland.

Last year, the Wisconsin DNR sampled 19.348 deer - turning up Chronic Wasting Disease in 1,338 samples.  The increased goal for sampling this year is part of a push to determine how wide-spread the disease is in the state.

According to news sources, the agency is focusing their 2020 efforts on 19 northeastern Wisconsin counties and nine counties in northern Wisconsin.  In addition, samples will be collected in areas where Chronic Wasting Disease has been detected in the wild deer herd.

This years Chronic Wasting Disease sampling is being handled with COVID-19 Pandemic protocols in place.  "Hunters will have the ability to enter their own...testing information online this year, and they're encouraged to bring their own supplies for sampling to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 this hunting season".

Some officials are concerned about the future of testing in the state.  "Additional funding for [Chronic Wasting Disease] research and operations is not included ....in the DNR's budget request for the next biennium".  The move comes as Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has requested agencies to cut $250 million from their budgets due to declines in revenue associated with COVID-19.

Chronic Wasting Disease was first discovered in Wisconsin in 2002 near Mount Horeb, which is about a half hour southwest of Madison.  The majority of positive cases is centralized across several counties in southern Wisconsin.  Locally, Douglas County is included in the areas of northern Wisconsin that are seeing a second sweep of sampling this year; that increase is due to the fact that last years sample wasn't as large as they had hoped.

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