Some Franklin County Indiana hunters may have to get deer tested this year.
In some unpleasant news for Indiana hunters, officials have confirmed a deer on a cattle farm has tested positive for bovine TB (tuberculosis).
The two-year-old doe was tested for the bacterial disease after being culled from a Franklin County farm as part of a disease monitoring program. Both hunters and area cattle farmers will feel the effects of the discovery.
Federal requirements will mean extensive testing of all cattle within a ten-mile radius. The Journal Sentinel reports that wildlife officials are recommending hunters wear gloves and fully cook all deer meat. In addition, harvested deer will also be subject to lab testing in certain areas.
Perhaps most disturbingly for area hunters, the doe showed no outward signs of the disease when it was culled.
“This is an enormous undertaking that cannot be completed overnight,” State Vet Bret Marsh said. “If this disease is out there – either on farms or in the wild – we need to find it. Our status as a TB-free state is critical to our growing and thriving cattle and dairy industries in this state.”
Indiana is able to hold onto that status thanks to federal guidelines, but this is the fourth instance of bovine TB found in either cattle or pen-raised deer in the area since 2008.
Instances of bovine TB come up much less frequently than the more common chronic wasting disease (CWD), but at least two deer tested positive for bovine TB in neighboring Michigan last February.