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Wildlife health issues to be aware of this hunting seasonWildlife health issues to be aware of this hunting season

MDNR reports on Chronic Wasting Disease and bovine TB

October 11, 2016

2 Min Read
Wildlife health issues to be aware of this hunting season

Chronic Wasting Disease
CWD was discovered in Michigan’s wild deer herd in 2015, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has taken several steps to determine the magnitude and scope of the infection in the deer herd population.  Last year, seven positive animals were identified, with four occurring in Ingham County and three occurring in Clinton County. Overall, prevalence appears to be low, but more samples are needed this year to fully determine the scale of the disease, according to MDRN.

Regulations established last year in the area surrounding where the positive animals have been found were expanded this year. The core CWD zone, DMU 333, has been expanded to include eight additional townships in southern Clinton County and northeastern Eaton County. The remainderof Eaton County and all of Ionia County have been added to the CWD Management Zone, which has been renamed DMU 419.

In addition, educational material has been developed to answer questions the public may have regarding this disease and what it means not only for the deer herd but for Michigan residents as well. For the most up-to-date information, please see the DNR emerging diseases website.

Bovine Tuberculosis
In the northeast LP, the prevalence of TB showed a dramatic increase in the core area, DMU 452, reports MDNR Prevalence there increased from 1% in 2014 to 2.7% in 2015. Outside of DMU 452, the remainder of the five-county TB Management Zone (DMU 487) saw only a slight uptick in prevalence, from 0.2 to 0.3%.

The rate of apparent prevalence in DMU 452 over the last five years showed a significant increasing trend for the first time since information has been gathered, and if an increasing trend continues for three consecutive years, it will prompt a USDA review of DNR deer management practices, according to MDNR.

Hunters are still strongly encouraged to harvest antlerless deer to help maintain reduced deer numbers and keep TB in check. Older antlered deer also should be harvested and are especially important to take to a check station, as these animals are much more likely to be TB-positive. Bringing in a deer or deer head to a check station for testing allows MDNR to track the prevalence of the disease in the population and is an integral part of controlling the disease.

In 2013, a dairy herd in Saginaw County tested positive for bovine tuberculosis. MDNR says there is no evidence of TB in deer near this location, but plans to continue to test deer in this area to accurately assess the situation.

The MDNR advises individuals hunting in the following counties to provide deer heads for testing: Alcona, Alpena, Arenac, Bay, Cheboygan, Crawford, Genesee, Gratiot, Huron, Iosco, Midland, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon and Saginaw.

For more information on these and other wildlife health issues, visit mi.gov/emergingdiseases.

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