Disposing of the deer kill

June 8, 2002 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Denver, CO) by Franzen
At the Foothills Wildlife Research Facility in Fort Collins, Colo. -- the place where chronic wasting disease was first identified decades ago -- officials once conducted what has been called a "grisly" cleanup effort to eradicate the disease. The deer, bighorn sheep and other animals being studied were destroyed. The top 6 inches of soil were hauled away. Buildings were washed with bleach. The place was left vacant for a year. And when new deer were brought back to the pens, they soon became infected with the disease. That's how tough CWD is.

Maybe that's why local officials in Wisconsin are so concerned about burying deer carcasses in nearby landfills. Because of that concern, state officials will start disposal of carcasses by burning them in a pet crematory in Poynette. It's a smart move.

A spokeswoman for Waste Management said the company was satisfied that dead deer can be buried in landfills safely. Nevertheless, state officials said this week there was not enough time to convince local folks of that and decided to go with cremation. Given that hunters are expected to start shooting deer today, the state officials are right.

Still, disposal will remain a problem. The state Department of Natural Resources wants hunters to wipe out the deer herd in an area of southwestern Wisconsin where CWD has been found in several deer.

About 15,000 deer need to be killed. Granted, they won't all be killed this weekend, or even this summer, but it takes the crematory about 12 hours to burn 70 carcasses at a time. There is also a chemical process that could be used down the road, but even that has problems: It leaves "a gooey substance" that will require additional treatment.

The state needs to provide more CWD testing facilities, but it also may have to do more to ensure that deer carcasses are safely disposed of. Maybe what's needed are a few more furnaces.

Home | News | Organics | GE Food | Health | Environment | Food Safety | Fair Trade | Peace | Farm Issues | Politics
Español | Campaigns | Buying Guide | Press | Search | Donate | About Us | Contact Us

Organic Consumers Association - 6771 South Silver Hill Drive, Finland MN 55603
E-mail: Staff · Activist or Media Inquiries: 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652
Please support our work. Send a tax-deductible donation to the OCA

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.