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Bill targets people importing animals with wasting disease

An emaciated deer stands near a fence.
Terry Kreeger
/
Wyoming Game and Fish Department/CWD Alliance
A deer infected with chronic wasting disease.

The state House has passed a bill that would increase penalties for bringing animal carcasses with chronic wasting disease into Michigan.

The crime would be a misdemeanor with fines from $500 to $2,000 and a possible 90-day jail sentence. It would be illegal to import infected deer, elk, moose, or other animals.

Chronic wasting disease is a neurological disorder that is fatal to animals. It is contagious among white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose, and elk. It has not been shown to be contagious to humans.

More from the CWD Alliance:

Currently, there is no evidence that CWD poses a risk for humans; however, public health officials recommend that human exposure to the ?CWD infectious agent be avoided as they continue to evaluate any potential health risk.

The bill was approved Tuesday and now goes to the state Senate.

It was sponsored by the late state Rep. John Kivela, a Democrat from Marquette who died last week. He was especially concerned about wasting disease spreading to herds in the Upper Peninsula.

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