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      Ban on baiting and feeding ends in Lower Peninsula

      Update: Friday 9:00 p.m.

      The Michigan Farm Bureau says it is disappointed by the state Natural Resources Commission's decision Thursday to lift the ban on baiting and feeding of free-ranging deer in most of the Lower Peninsula and fears the action - even with limited quantities of bait and feed allowed during a restricted period - will re-open the state to an inevitable spread of problematic wildlife diseases that pose significant dangers to the state's hunting and agriculture industries.

      MFB policy, as developed and adopted by farmer members of the state's largest general farm organization, remains in firm support of a statewide ban on baiting and feeding of free-ranging deer, as well as strengthened fines and penalties for those found in violation.


      This deer hunting season using bait in the Lower Peninsula won't be illegal anymore.

      Thursday the Natural Resource Commission voted to end a ban on baiting and feeding of whitetail deer in most of the state's Lower Peninsula.

      The exception is a northeast section of the state where bovine tuberculosis remains a problem.

      Baiting and feeding have been banned in the Lower Peninsula since August 2008, when a deer with chronic wasting disease was found at a captive breeding farm in Kent County.

      No other cases have been reported.

      The new plan also would allow people to feed deer for recreational viewing year-round except in the bovine TB zone.

      Policies that allow limited baiting and feeding in the Upper Peninsula remain in place.

      The debate isn't over, however.

      The commission also voted to revisit the ban in three years.