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Feds, state pay deer farmers $330k after wiping out herds

MILWAUKEE (AP) — State and federal officials have paid Wisconsin deer farmers more than $330,000 worth of compensation so far this year after killing their herds out of concerns they were infected with chronic wasting disease.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports CWD was found on three farms this year, resulting in depopulation.

The owners of Windy Ridge Whitetails in Iowa County got $264,155 worth of compensation, including $136,040 worth of state funds and $128,115 worth of federal money for 103 deer killed in May. Tests showed 21 animals were infected.

Dirk and Jane Stolz own a deer preserve in Bayfield County and a deer farm in Washington County. They moved 23 deer from Washington County to the preserve last winter.

One of the remaining deer in Washington County tested positive for CWD in March. State agriculture officials decided to quarantine the Washington County deer and wipe out the herd in Bayfield County, where CWD has not been found yet. They killed 22 deer on the preserve in April; the 23rd deer is missing. The Stolzes received $52,000 worth of federal money.

Burton Buck Creek Elk in Richland County saw its 11-animal herd wiped out in August. In return, it got $15,000 from the state.

Wisconsin is home to 380 deer or elk farms. CWD has been found at 23 farms since 2002. Fourteen have been depopulated, including the three that were this year.

Meanwhile, the Department of Natural Resources has issued a mandatory testing order for deer killed in nine townships in Dane and Columbia counties after a cow on a Waunakee farm tested positive for bovine tuberculosis in late October.

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