Michigan DNR Confirms Third Case of CWD

Michigan’s third case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a free-ranging white-tailed deer has been confirmed. On August 6, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that a third free-ranging deer in Meridian Township (Ingham County) has tested positive for CWD.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose.

According to reports from the DNR, this third case was in a 5-year-old doe found less than a mile from the first two infected deer.

“As we stated with the second positive deer, this news is not surprising,” said Dr. Steve Schmitt, DNR wildlife veterinarian. “The good news is that all three deer came from the same small area.”

Genetic testing was conducted by the Michigan State University’s Molecular Ecology Laboratory which shows that all three animals were related. Previous research has shown that CWD is often transmitted within family groups because of their close contact.

The DNR is now stressing the importance of hunter participation in stopping the spread of CWD.

“We have focused our efforts thus far in the area around the first case,” Schmitt continued. “We need individuals who have always hunted in Ingham County and surrounding counties to keep hunting. The DNR can’t fight this disease without their support. Hunters need to have their deer checked and tested so we can determine if this disease is established over a broad area or just persisting in a local pocket.”

The DNR asks for help from the public and hunters in reporting deer that are:
• Unusually thin.
• Displaying abnormal behavior – For example, acting tame around humans and allowing someone to approach.

If you notice a deer acting unusually you should contact the DNR and report it immediately.

SOURCE: MiNews26