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Chronic wasting disease found in Michigan farm deer

Fatal neurological problem affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose.

April 2, 2019

2 Min Read
white tailed deer
CWD FOUND: Through surveillance testing, chronic wasting disease was identified in a 2-year-old, female white-tailed deer from a Montcalm County, Mich., farm.

The Michigan departments of Agriculture & Rural Development and Natural Resources have confirmed chronic wasting disease in a 2-year-old, female white-tailed deer from a Montcalm County deer farm.

The sample was submitted for routine testing as a part of the state’s CWD surveillance program for farmed deer.

In Montcalm County, 83 CWD-positive free-ranging deer have been identified. This part of the state is an active CWD Management Zone. All deer farms in Michigan are required to submit samples for regular testing. However, deer farms in a CWD Management Zone are quarantined and must participate in increased surveillance.

As a part of MDARD’s disease response, an investigation will be conducted to rule out exposure of any other farmed deer.

“The test results and age of the deer indicate that this deer was recently infected, emphasizing the importance of early detection through surveillance,” says state veterinarian Nora Wineland, DVM. “MDARD and DNR work together, in partnership with the state’s deer farmers, to ensure the protection of all of Michigan’s deer.”

“With a disease like CWD, everyone’s actions matter,” says DNR state wildlife veterinarian Kelly Straka, DVM. “Whether you are a deer producer submitting samples for surveillance or a hunter practicing safe carcass disposal, we all have a role to play in minimizing the risk of disease spread.”

Since May 2015, when the first free-ranging, white-tailed CWD-positive deer was found in Michigan, CWD has been confirmed in free-ranging, white-tailed deer in the Lower Peninsula from Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ionia, Ingham, Jackson, Kent and Montcalm counties. 

Additionally, a CWD-positive deer was found in the Upper Peninsula in Dickinson County in October of last year. Baiting and feeding of deer and elk is not allowed in the Lower Peninsula.

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.

More information about CWD can be found at Michigan.gov/CWD.

Source: MDARD, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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