LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- A disease still threatens to drastically harm the deer population in our state, but proposals to stop it are becoming controversial.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wants to contain Chronic Wasting Disease and prevent it from moving into other parts of Arkansas.
Five counties in Arkansas are facing problems with chronic wasting, including Boone, Carroll, Madison, Pope and Newton counties.
Game and Fish has held community meetings asking for the public's input to stop the disease from spreading. Their most recent proposal threatens to cancel one program that has some Arkansans upset.
The proposal would ban rehabilitating deer statewide to help stop the spread of the disease.
“Chronic Wasting Disease can persist in the soil for a very long time indefinitely for as much as we know, so we don't want to put it anywhere else where it doesn’t exist now,” said Trey Reid with AGFC.
Game and Fish put up a survey on their website in regards to this particular rule.
“We've had over 1,900 people respond to the question about rehabilitation of deer and over 75 percent of the public that's commented are in favor of that prohibition.”
Bonny Gregory started rehabilitating animals four years ago and believes if her program is suspended, the public will try to care for these animals themselves. “Illegal or not people aren't going to care, they're going to care more about saving the baby animal.”
As a certified rehabber she says she's able to nurture the animal and release them the proper way. “If we are no longer able to rehabilitate deer, then you're going to have the public that would normally call us being the ones who take it into their home and make it a family pet.”
Many of the rehabilitators across the state agreed on one thing. “Nobody in Arkansas is going to allow a little baby like this to just be left out on its own.”
Arkansas Game and Fish will vote on this proposal Friday. Stay with THV11 and THV11.com for updates.