The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has confirmed another positive test for chronic wasting disease in a free-ranging deer.
This is the third such case this year, with all the positive deer being discovered within a mile of each other.
“As we stated with the second positive deer, this news is not surprising,” DNR wildlife veterinarian Steve Schmitt said in a press release from the DNR. “The good news is that all three deer came from the same small area.”
The deer in this case was a five-year-old doe in Ingham County and Meridian Township area. The other positive tests were on a buck back on July 17 and a doe in May. The DNR says they will continue to test deer in the area where these deer were found to determine the extent of the outbreak.
“We have focused our efforts thus far in the area around the first case,” Schmitt said.
Additionally, he encouraged hunters to have any deer taken in the upcoming seasons to be tested.
“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,” Schmitt said. “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.”
Chronic wasting disease, also known as CWD, is a debilitating neurological disease that is spread through saliva and other bodily fluids. Afflicted deer often suffer weight and hair loss and lose fear of humans and predators. The disease has only shown up in deer and elk however.
Michigan isn’t the only state dealing with chronic wasting disease. Texas, Wisconsin and West Virginia have all been in the headlines for CWD problems this summer. Concerns about the spread of the disease actually led Virginia officials to ban the use of natural deer urine attractants for the upcoming season.