Another Montcalm County deer is suspected of having chronic wasting disease (CWD).
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced that a sample of the deer was sent for confirmation testing.
If confirmed positive, the 1.5-year-old buck, harvested in Sidney Township, would be the 11th free-ranging deer in Michigan to have CWD. Another was found earlier this month, also in Montcalm County.
“The fact that we already have another positive deer within Montcalm County is of major concern,” said Dr. Kelly Straka, DNR state wildlife veterinarian. “We strongly recommend hunters who harvest deer in Montcalm County have their deer tested. Deer with CWD can look perfectly healthy even though they are infected.”
There have been no reported cases of CWD in humans, however, the World Health Organization recommends that infected animals not be consumed by either humans or domestic animals.
The first CWD deer was found in May 2015. So far, 10 cases of CWD have been confirmed in free-ranging white-tailed deer from Clinton, Ingham, and Montcalm counties.
Starting Nov. 15, the following nine-township area will have mandatory deer check: Maple Valley, Pine, Douglass, Montcalm, Sidney, Eureka, and Fairplain townships in Montcalm County; and Spencer and Oakfield townships in Kent County.
The DNR is holding a town hall meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 25 from 6-8 p.m. in the Ash Foundation Building, located within the Montcalm County Fairgrounds at 8784 Peck Road in Greenville, to provide information about CWD and its effects on deer and deer populations.
Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose.
Some CWD-infected animals will display abnormal behaviors, progressive weight loss, and physical debilitation; however, deer can be infected for many years without showing internal or external symptoms. There is no cure; once a deer is infected with CWD, it will die.
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