Officials confirm Michigan deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease

Local News

GRATIOT COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) – A deer from Hamilton Township recently tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says this is the second confirmed CWD-positive wild deer from Gratiot County, the first was discovered in late 2018.

Tissue samples from the 2-year-old, hunter harvested doe were sent to Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for confirmation.

“When we find CWD a few townships over from a prior detection in the same county, it becomes increasingly important to discover if and where additional cases might be within that county,” said DNR deer and elk specialist Chad Stewart. “In light of this new detection, we ask hunters in southeastern Gratiot and southwestern Saginaw counties, especially, to have their deer tested this year.”

Nearby deer check stations and drop boxes are available at the DNR field office in St. Charles, McNabb Park in Ithaca and Bellingar Packing in Ashley.

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

To date, the disease also has been confirmed in Clinton, Dickinson, Eaton, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Kent and Montcalm counties.

CWD is not common among deer in Michigan, according to the DNR.

Stewart said some of easiest ways hunters can help address CWD are to keep hunting throughout the remaining deer seasons, dispose of leftover parts in the trash and, if possible, take additional does in the Lower Peninsula’s CWD areas.

To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in people. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals.

Deer check stations and drop boxes will be open throughout the deer hunting seasons, while the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory and partner Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory will continue processing and testing deer as hunting seasons continue.

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