UW-Madison UW-Madison

Staff Paper No. 463 - Abstract

The Economic Effects of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Wisconsin

Richard C. Bishop [rcbishop@wisc.edu]

Staff Paper No. 463, November 2003, 11p.


Wisconsin’s 600,000 deer hunters will bear the brunt of the economic losses from chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the Wisconsin deer herd. Though studies have not been done to pinpoint these losses, under plausible assumptions, they could have amounted to between $58 million and $83 million in 2002. I would anticipate somewhat smaller losses in 2003, perhaps between $30 million and $53 million. CWD can also be expected to cause deer hunters to spend less on their sport than they have in the past. However, the impacts of reduced hunter spending on the Wisconsin economy should not be too large. Losses to the deer hunting economy will be counterbalanced as resident hunters who reduce expenditures spend their money elsewhere in the economy. Some spending by nonresident hunters will be lost, but deer hunting is a very small part of the tourist economy. Nevertheless, businesses that serve hunters are likely to feel the effects and this is especially true in rural areas as fewer urban deer hunters spend money on the services they provide. Additional costs are being borne by public agencies in Wisconsin as they try to cope with the disease. Little is known about impacts on deer and elk farms, on those who feed deer to facilitate viewing, and on feed businesses that cater to deer feeders.
Last updated on Thu, Jun 2, 2005 8:58am