Three white-tailed deer from a Newaygo County deer farm have been confirmed with chronic wasting disease, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural and Development. All three deer were four-and-a-half years old. The samples were submitted for routine testing as part of the state’s CWD surveillance program for farmed deer.
To date, CWD has not been detected in free-ranging deer in Newaygo County. As part of MDARD’s disease response, an investigation will be conducted to rule out exposure of any other farmed deer.
“Chronic wasting disease is a serious disease affecting both farmed and free-ranging deer,” state veterinarian Nora Wineland says. “MDARD and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources work together, in partnership with the state’s deer farmers, to ensure the protection of all of Michigan’s deer.”
Since 2008, CWD has been detected in four additional privately owned cervid facilities in Kent, Mecosta and Montcalm counties. The deer farm in Newaygo County is the fifth Michigan farm in which CWD has been detected.
CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. CWD can be transmitted directly from one animal to another, as well as indirectly through the environment.
Infected animals may display abnormal behavior, progressive weight loss and physical debilitation. To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in humans.
However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend that infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals.