Chronic Wasting Disease Found in Marathon County

Wisconsin Ag Connection - 12/03/2013

A white-tailed deer on a hunting preserve in Marathon County has tested positive for chronic wasting disease. On Monday, State Veterinarian Dr. Paul McGraw announced that the five-year-old male deer and was one of about 370 animals in the 351-acre farm.

State animal health officials say the buck was killed on November 4 and tested as part of regular procedure when deer go to slaughter. This is the first time in five years that an animal raised in a hunting preserve tested positive for the brain wasting disorder.

"The DATCP Animal Health Division's investigation will look at the animal's history and trace movements of deer onto and off the property to determine whether other herds may have been exposed to the CWD test-positive deer," Dr. McGraw said.

The state has since quarantined the preserve and the other three registered farms owned by the same entity, which stops movement of live deer from the property. The business will be allowed to conduct hunts on the quarantined preserves, because properly handled dead animals leaving the premises do not pose a disease risk.
Since CWD was discovered in Wisconsin in 2002, there were eighty-two cases from a single Portage county farm that was depopulated in 2006. The remaining 15 cases were discovered over a six-year period from 2002 to 2008 on eight farms and hunting preserves. One of the infected animals was an elk; the rest have been white-tailed deer.