Area farm concerned with the future of their deer herd as CWD grows

RUDOLPH (WAOW)- Chronic Wasting Disease has been a concern for many across Wisconsin as state agencies take numerous approaches to try to stop the spread of the deadly disease.

A family that News 9 spoke with is worried that the measures being taken will destroy their deer farm.

“It’s my world, I grew up doing this so it’s definitely a passion,” said Corey Siegler from Autumn Red Deer Farm.

Corey has been working on his family’s deer farm in Rudolph for more than 20 years.

The rise of CWD makes him and his family nervous, which even led them to decrease their herd over the years.

“For deer farmers it’s the uncertainty of what would happen to us,” said Kim Siegler.

In the past there have been cases of the Department of Natural Resources killing a deer herd on a farm when one tests positive for the disease.

“There are cases of false positives, also we don’t really know when a legislative is going to come and put us out of business,” Corey said.

News 9 spoke with Scott Hygnstrom a wild life expert at UWSP, he said he believes the state’s approach to combat the disease is the right measure.

“So if they are testing herds and if they find it positive they depopulate and I think that’s quite appropriate because that is a potential source of the disease to be spread all around the country,” said Hygnstrom.

However, farmers are worried about what they believe is a harsh approach.

“People seem to be scared of it and with enough research and working with deer farmers the state doesn’t have to make it such a scary thought,” said Kim Siegler.

The Siegler’s said they take preventative measures to make sure their herd is always healthy.

“We are breeding genetically resistant animals we are looking at different feed sources for animals that aren’t going to bring CWD prions onto our farms,” said Corey. “We are here as a solution rather than a issue.”

The Siegler’s deer farm breed red deer which they said is highly resistant to the disease.

However the thought of one of their deer testing falsely positive is what scares them the most.

The Sieglers said every time one of their deer die they make sure to test it for CWD, even then they said it racks up a hefty price of $80 per head.






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