January 2017 – Two female deer from a deer farm in Mecosta County have confirmed cases of Chronic Wasting Disease, the Department of Agriculture and Rural development said Friday.
Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. The Mecosta deer mark the second time the disease has been found in farmed deer, the first being a white-tailed deer on a Kent County farm in 2008.
“Chronic wasting disease is a serious disease affecting both farmed and free-ranging deer,” James Averill, MDARD state veterinarian, said in a statement. “We are following the state’s CWD response plan and taking necessary steps to protect the health and well-being of all of Michigan’s deer populations”.
Samples from the two deer were submitted for testing, as the Department of Natural Resources requires of all licensed deer farms in the state.
“Any discovery of chronic wasting disease in free-ranging or farmed deer is disappointing,” said Chad Stewart, DNR deer and elk specialist. “It will take significant time and effort – through immediate, targeted surveillance and mandatory checks during the upcoming deer seasons – to understand the current situation. The Michigan DNR remains committed in our efforts to contain the disease and safeguard our valuable wildlife resource.”
An informal meeting for deer farmers is scheduled on February 1 at the Big Rapids Holiday Inn at 1005 Perry Avenue.
MDARD and DNR are also implementing surveillance and response plan for the disease and will quarantine the affected farm; complete trace investigations to identify the potential sources of infection and possible areas of spread; test all deer in the herd for the disease; inspect other farms in a 15-mile radius; and have a mandatory deer check for harvested deer in a 9-township area.
Click this link for more information on Chronic Wasting Disease.