This article¬†originally¬†appeared on watchdog.org.
MADISON ‚?? Giggles the fawn may not have died in vain.
In the wake of the controversy surrounding the fawn‚??s death in July, Wisconsin officials on Thursday¬†released a modified proposal¬†for dealing with captured wildlife.
The proposed changes include:
- After voluntarily collecting an illegally captured wild animal,¬†Department of Natural Resources¬†staff would reintroduce the animal to the wild if it does not pose a threat to public health, the health of wildlife or to the animal itself. In the case of deer, if a deer originates in a¬†Chronic Wasting Disease¬†zone, it could only be reintroduced in a CWD zone.
- If a wild animal cannot be released¬†immediately¬†¬†nto the wild, but could be safely released after rehabilitation, it would be taken to a licensed rehabilitator. In the case of deer, following rehabilitation, a deer that originated in a CWD zone could only be reintroduced into a CWD zone.
- DNR staff would only euthanize a wild animal if it is sick, highly likely to be diseased, or a threat to public health or the health of other wildlife.
The¬†Natural Resources Board¬†will be asked to approved the changes in September.
Officials also want to get lawmakers‚?? help changing the law:
- Individuals who illegally hold a captured wild deer would face citations and penalties for illegally possessing the deer. They may be able to keep the deer if they meet a series of regulations to ensure the health of the deer and the state‚??s deer population as a whole. These include, but are not limited to, specific size and space requirements for an enclosure, health tests administered by a licensed veterinarian and a notification process to both DNR and the¬†Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
‚??Removing illegally-held wildlife takes an emotional toll on those holding the animal as well as those whose job it is to enforce the law,‚?Ě¬†DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp¬†said in a statement. ‚??Ideas and opinions from citizens of this state, along with sound science, shape our natural resource laws and policies. I look forward to working with policy makers to improve the way Wisconsin manages wildlife.‚?Ě
The policy changes stem from a mid-July incident in which an armed team of 16 officials, including some from DNR and local law enforcement, took and ultimately killed Giggles. The fawn was at a Kenosha no-kill shelter.
‚??I appreciate the hard work from Secretary Stepp and Secretary Brancel and all those involved in examining our captive wildlife laws,‚?Ě¬†Gov. Scott Walker¬†,¬†said in a statement. ‚??I encourage the Legislature and the Natural Resources Board to carefully consider the recommendations offered by the DNR and DATCP.‚?Ě
Contact Kirsten Adshead at email@example.com.