Wisconsin confirms yet another CWD-positive deer from a game farm.
Once again it has happened. A captive buck on a 230-acre Forest County hunting ranch was recently confirmed positive for chronic wasting disease or CWD.
The announcement was made by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection after test results showed the six-year-old buck was positive for the always-fatal neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose.
The DATCP say the buck was originally born in a captive breeding facility in Marinette County before being moved to the hunting facility in Forest County in 2014. Both locations have the same owner.
The breeding facility went under quarantine last year after a two-year-old doe died and the deer carcass subsequently tested positive for the disease. A quarantine shuts down completely any movement of animals in or out of these types of facilities.
"DATCP's Division of Animal Health is working with the owner of the Forest County facility to determine if any changes are needed to the existing herd plan," a DATCP press release stated. "A herd plan provides restrictions under a quarantine that the owner must operate under to prevent the spread of disease."
Unfortunately, Wisconsin has sort of become ground zero for the war against CWD in the U.S., as this isn't the first time captive deer have tested positive for CWD in Wisconsin. Two years ago, an Eau Claire County deer farm was found to have infected animals that tested positive for the disease.
All the animals in the facility were destroyed, but two bucks escaped and spent almost five months running loose before they were finally shot. Authorities worry the spread of CWD may have reached many other deer in that time.
More recently in July of last year, the disease even reared its ugly head in a small captive elk herd in Sauk County. Needless to say, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has their hands full with Wisconsin's deer situation.
Wild deer have tested positive for a CWD infection in 25 counties. New regulations surrounding the transportation of dead deer have been put into effect. CWD testing is common practice during deer hunting season in certain zones, and hunting traditions have already shifted into a waiting game before taking wild game to the meat processor and consuming it.
The deer population will seemingly forever be at risk, and the overall wildlife health of the ecosystem will be out balance.
At least until an effective cure or proven prevention can be found, that is.