Two Deer in Lansing Area Test Positive for CWD

The number of free-ranging Michigan deer having tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) is now seven, after DNR confirmation of two more from the Lansing area.

One of the newly confirmed CWD-positive deer is a nine-month-old male from Ingham County's Meridian Township, the other a nearly three-year-old female from Clinton County's Watertown Township. The seven-deer total is from nearly 4,900 deer tested for CWD since May 2015.

Deer samples are road-kills, and animals shot by professional sharpshooters from the U.S.

Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services. In all, sharpshooters have collected 663 deer from in and near the nine-township Core CWD Area.

DNR deer specialist Chad Stewart said in a news release that intensive removal of deer in the area has a two-part benefit.

"One, it helps us understand prevalence rates and spread so we can make informed decisions on disease management moving forward; and two, by removing individual deer around areas with known disease occurrence, it reduces the potential for spread and accumulation in our deer herd, which has benefits not only locally, but on the periphery of the management zone as well."

The fatal neurological disease affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. To date, the DNR said, there is no evidence that chronic wasting disease presents any risk to non-cervids, including humans, either through contact with an infected animal or from handling contaminated venison.

SOURCE: Midland Daily News