Last month, thirteen armed law enforcement officers stormed the St. Francis Society Animal Shelter to capture and kill a 35-pound baby deer. Now the State of Wisconsin has proposed changes to the law regarding wild animals and deer, reports madison.com on Thursday.
The raid occurred since reportedly the baby deer named Giggles was being held in violation of Wisconsin state law. Under the new proposal, an illegally-held wild deer can be kept if health regulations are met.
A press release from The Department of Natural Resources lists four changes being proposed by the DNR and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection:
Restricted use of euthanasia
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. Additionally, the proposal calls for the following change which would require action by the state legislature to change state law:
Ability of an individual to care for a captured deer with proper health and disease protections
Individuals who illegally hold a captured wild deer would still 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 DATCP.
Immediate reintroduction of wild animals into the wild
After voluntarily collecting an illegally captured wild animal, DNR 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.
Ability of a licensed rehabilitator to rehabilitate wild animals for reintroduction to the wild
If a wild animal cannot be immediately released into 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 which originated in a CWD zone could only be reintroduced into a CWD zone.
On July 15, 2013, nine Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources agents and four local sheriff’s deputies raided the no-kill shelter and closed down the St. Francis Society Animal Shelter for two-and-a-half hours. All shelter employees were instructed to wait outside. Photos taken by one shelter volunteer were deleted by one of the agents.
St. Francis Society tried to fight for the life of the young deer. They told the agents that Giggles was not dangerous, and that she was scheduled to be transferred to a nature reserve the next day.
Shelter employees watched as Giggles was brought out in a body bag. They were to find out that the fawn had been sedated, then later killed.
Little Giggles got her name because of the little laughing noise she made.
The proposed changes will go to the Natural Resources Board in September.
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