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E-M:/ from Governor's office: FW: Chronic Wasting Disease

Title: Chronic Wasting Disease

-----Original Message-----
From: gov_office@MICHIGAN.GOV [mailto:gov_office@MICHIGAN.GOV]
Sent: Thursday, April 15, 2004 3:44 PM
Subject: Chronic Wasting Disease


Granholm Signs Executive Order Transferring Regulation of Privately Owned Deer, Elk Facilities to DNR
Audit of facilities first order of business

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today signed Executive Order 2004-3, transferring the regulation of privately owned deer and elk captive cervidae livestock facilities and operations from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in light of the threat of Chronic Wasting Disease.

Granholm’s order paves the way for the DNR to begin an audit of Michigan’s captive deer and elk industry, which was a key recommendation of the Governor’s Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Task Force.

“CWD would have serious impacts on the state’s wildlife population, our agriculture industry, and our economy as the CWD Task Force noted in its report,” Granholm said.  It is imperative that we act decisively in adopting measures that will protect our native deer and elk from this horrible disease.”

Chronic Wasting Disease is a neurological disease of deer and elk that can be spread from animal to animal, or indirectly from soil or surface to animal.  There is no known cure or vaccine.  Once considered to be a disease limited to small endemic areas, CWD has recently been found in more than 15 states and in Canada. The human-aided transport of both privately owned and wild animals is a significant contributor to the spread of CWD.

“This audit is critical for keeping CWD out of Michigan,” said Dr. Howard Tanner, chair of the CWD Task Force and a former director of the DNR.  “Given that deer and elk are migratory animals that often move substantial distances, introduction of one infected animal could pose a substantial threat to Michigan’s wildlife.  The DNR has the resources to conduct the audit, and it is important we know the results before the 2004 hunting season is upon us.”

The “audit” will include inspections of facilities, checking fences to make sure animals can’t get in or out, checking records to make sure there is an accurate accounting of the number and types of animals at each facility and, most important, a check of movement records to ensure animals haven’t been illegally imported from areas that are known to have CWD or exported to other states and/or countries.  State officials estimate that a complete audit of Michigan’s captive cervidae will take approximately six months and cost approximately $800,000.  The audit will be funded by a combination of restricted and general fund dollars. 

Keith Charters, chair of the Natural Resources Commission, supported the Governor’s order.
“I applaud the Governor for moving forward on the recommendations of the CWD Task Force,” Charters said.  “This action demonstrates her commitment to keeping CWD out of Michigan and the wild herd healthy.”

The Executive Order is subject to review by the Legislature which has 60 days to consider the order.
To review the CWD Task Force Report and the Executive Order visit the State of Michigan website at www.michigan.gov/cwd .

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