Outdoors Roundup: Two horses in central Wisconsin tested positive for Eastern Equine EncephalitisOutdoor News
-- Two horses in north central Wisconsin have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
Two horses in north central Wisconsin have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis. State agriculture officials said yesterday that one horse each in Clark and Lincoln counties were confirmed to have the mosquito-borne encephalitis. That’s after tests were performed at a national lab in Ames Iowa. State veterinarian Robert Ehlenfeldt said mosquito populations have grown during a relatively wet summer in the north. And he says there could be a lot more cases if the first killing frost doesn’t come until late in the fall. Ehlenfeldt said horse owners who have not vaccinated their animals for mosquito-borne diseases should take the new cases as a warning – and those who did take action should see if their horses need a booster shot. The Eastern Equine Encephalitis comes at a time when another mosquito-borne illness – the West Nile Virus – is starting to make its presence known in Wisconsin. Horses are susceptible to West Nile, but there have been no equine cases reported yet. Twenty-one birds in 14 counties have died from the virus. And a resident of Dodge County was hospitalized and sent home after becoming the first person in Wisconsin to get West Nile this year.
While opponents try to stop Wisconsin’s wolf hunting season, the animals continue to cause more and more damage. The state D-N-R has paid out 215-thousand dollars in wolf damage claims in the first six months of the year – the most ever paid in that time period as part of the state’s wolf depredation program. The greatest losses have been to calves – followed by hunting dogs, cattle, pet dogs, horses, and donkeys. The state’s first wolf hunt is scheduled to begin in mid-October, with just over two-thousand hunters shooting 116 wolves. The original quota was 201, but Chippewa Indians say they’ll protect 85 wolves under their treaty rights in about the northern third of Wisconsin. And the rest of the hunt could be in jeopardy as the result of a lawsuit from environmental and animal rights groups. They object to the D-N-R’s agreement to let hunting dogs track down the wolves, saying they dogs would be in danger of being killed. A Dane County judge will be asked next Wednesday to put the wolf hunt on hold, while the lawsuit goes through the court process.