Chronic wasting disease found in two farm elk in Kent County


This undated photo provided by Colorado Parks and Wildlife shows an elusive elk that has been wandering the hills with a car tire around its neck for at least two years that has now finally been freed of the tire. The 4 1/2-year-old, 600-pound (272-kilogram) bull elk was spotted near Pine Junction southwest of Denver on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, and tranquilized, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. CPW officers had to cut the elk’s five-point antlers off to remove the encumbrance because they couldn’t cut through the steel in the bead of the tire. (Colorado Parks and Wildlife via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has confirmed two cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in elk in a farm facility in Kent County.

The two infected elk were discovered through disease tracing efforts. These are the first cases of CWD in elk in Michigan.

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

“The discovery of chronic wasting disease in elk housed at a facility linked to a positive animal is not surprising,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland, DVM. “MDARD’s main priority is to limit the spread of this disease by working together with other state departments, farmers, and ranchers. These findings underscore how important it is to pay attention to CWD and the movement of animals that may allow the disease to spread.”

No wild elk have tested positive for CWD in Michigan.

37 wild deer in total have tested positive for CWD. There have been no reported cases of CWD in humans, but the CDC recommends animals that test positive for CWD not be eaten by humans or domestic animals.

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