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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Aug. 28, 2008

Contact: Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014
Adam Bump 517-373-1263

Deer and Elk Feeding Ban Outlined, Will Impact Bear Baiting

In the wake of Monday’s announcement that Chronic Wasting Disease
(CWD) has been confirmed in a privately-owned white-tailed deer in Kent
County, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has immediately
implemented provisions of the state’s Surveillance and Response Plan
for CWD.

Among the provisions is an immediate ban on all baiting and feeding of
deer and elk in the Lower Peninsula. This ban will also affect bear
baiting activity.

Provisions of the baiting ban are:

- All grains, minerals, salt, fruits, vegetables, hay, or any other
food materials, whether natural or manufactured, which may lure, entice
or attract deer are prohibited.

- Food plots are not subject to the ban.

- Foods found scattered solely as the result of normal agricultural
planting or harvesting practices, foods available to deer through normal
agricultural practices of livestock feeding if the area is occupied by
livestock actively consuming the feed on a daily basis, or standing farm
crops under normal agricultural practices are not subject to the ban.

- Baiting is defined in the Wildlife Order as placing, depositing,
tending, distributing, or scattering bait to aid in the taking of a

- All counties in the entire Lower Peninsula are subject to the baiting

- The Upper Peninsula is not included in the ban.

Current bear baiting regulations prohibit the use of any materials that
lure, entice, or attract deer or elk where it is unlawful to bait or
feed deer or elk. As a result of the deer and elk baiting and feeding
ban, no bear baiting with food materials other than meats, meat
products, fish, fish products, or bakery products will be allowed in the
Lower Peninsula at any time.

DNR conservation officers have increased surveillance and enforcement
efforts on baiting. Baiting and feeding unnaturally congregate deer into
close contact, thus increasing the transmission of contagious diseases.
Bait and feed sites increase the likelihood that those areas will become
contaminated with the feces of infected animals, making them a source of
infection for years to come.

DNR officials remind citizens that, to date, there is no evidence that
CWD poses a risk to humans, nor has there been verified evidence that
the disease can be transmitted to humans.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose.
Most cases of the disease have been in western states, but in the past
several years, it has spread to Midwestern and eastern states. Infected
animals display abnormal behaviors, loss of bodily functions and a
progressive weight loss. Current evidence suggests that the disease is
transmitted through infectious, self-multiplying proteins (prions).
Prions are normal cell proteins whose shape has been transformed,
causing CWD. The disease is transmitted by exposure to saliva of
infected animals. Susceptible animals can also acquire CWD by eating
feces from an infected animal, or soil contaminated by them. Once
contaminated, soil can remain a source of infection for many years,
making CWD a particularly difficult disease to manage.

More information about CWD is available on the State of Michigan’s
Emerging Diseases Web site at www.michigan.gov/chronicwastingdisease.

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, use and enjoyment
of the state’s natural resources for current and future generations.

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