Wisconsin Considers Legalizing Deer as Pets

Officials propose alternative to euthanasia

Erik Tormoen

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Wisconsin wildlife officials are proposing that state law permit citizens to keep deer as pets, provided citizens pay fines and follow regulations. The proposal has received little support from legislators and is opposed by environmentalists, who cite health risks, and outdoorsmen seeking protection of deer as public trust, reports

The suggestion arose in the wake of a public outcry after agents euthanized a fawn at a Kenosha animal center. The fawn, named Giggles by the family that brought it to the center, had come from an area with widespread deer diseases.

Under the amended law, Wisconsin citizens could keep deer within an enclosed space, given a veterinarian’s approval, plus fines and registration expenses.

“The action plan as proposed would be very difficult to sell as legislation,” says Senator Neal Kedzie, Republican chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee. “This whole issue of wild game being a resource in the wild and not for private keeping goes back a hundred years.”

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