Deer farmers could shut down under Gov. Walker's CWD proposal - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Deer farmers could shut down under Gov. Walker's CWD proposal

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is found in every county in southern Wisconsin and deer farmers are beginning to worry more regulations could put them out of business.

Governor Scott Walker sent out an emergency proposal last week in hopes to combat the CWD problem. However, for deer farmer Ryan Rodenkirch it’s a move that will force his farm to shut down.

Walker’s requirements would force deer breeding and hunting facilities in disease-affected counties to have a second 8-foot fence around their farm, an electric fence or an “impermeable physical barrier.”

Rodenkirch’s deer farm falls in an “affected” area in Dodge County. He said Walker's regulations would put him out of business.

“I’m devastated. I invested so much time and energy and passion into this and to know tomorrow it can be gone, it took it right out of me," said Rodenkirch, owner of Rodenkirch Whitetails and Genetics.

Rodenkrich said nearly all the 376 deer farms in Wisconsin will feel the pinch.    

"We're victims of chronic wasting disease, we are not the ones causing it, we’re just being hurt by it.”

The plan by Walker calls for better fencing, but also puts strict rules on transporting animals. Meaning Rodenkrich wouldn’t be able to sell, transport any animals - dead or alive.

"These animals cannot move from this farm under what they're proposing. I have no animals for my hunters so we're stuck,"

He hopes to find common ground with the Walker administration to come up with rules that are doable.

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