Michigan deer suspected of having chronic wasting disease - WNEM TV 5

Michigan deer suspected of having chronic wasting disease

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Another Michigan deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD).

The 1.5-year-old buck was taken on Nov. 16 in Clinton County’s Eagle Township.

It’s likely the ninth free-ranging deer in the state to test positive for the disease, according to the DNR.

The hunter who harvested the animal was within an area where deer checks are mandatory and preliminary tests came back positive.

“This latest suspect deer reinforces how critical hunters are in battling this disease,” said Chad Fedewa, DNR wildlife biologist. “We are counting on hunters to bring their deer in for testing so we have a better understanding about disease distribution. If this hunter had not followed the law, we would have no idea that the disease has traveled farther west.”

The DNR has tested nearly 9,000 deer since the first free-ranging CWD-positive deer was found in May 2015; thus far, eight cases of CWD have been confirmed. This new suspect, if the disease is confirmed, would bring the total to nine.

There are 17 townships in Michigan where harvested deer are required to be submitted within 72 hours. They include: Lansing, Meridian, Williamstown, Delhi, Alaiedon and Wheatfield townships in Ingham County; DeWitt, Bath, Watertown, Eagle, Westphalia, Riley, Olive and Victor townships in Clinton County; Woodhull Township in Shiawassee County; and Oneida and Delta townships in Eaton County.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. While some animals with the disease will show signs such as weight loss or abnormal behaviors, some deer can be infected for many years without showing internal or external symptoms.

At this point there is no evidence that CWD presents any risk to humans, but the DCD recommends that infected animals not be consumed.

For a complete list of check stations, click here.

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