Wednesday, October 08, 2008

MICHIGAN NEWS: Chronic Wasting Disease Not Found in Wild Populations

More than 300 wild Kent County deer have been tested and found to be clear of chronic wasting disease after the highly contagious disorder was found in one northern Kent County farm-raised deer in August.

As of Tuesday, state Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Mary Detloff said, no new cases of the disease had been discovered in Michigan.

Statewide, 1,095 deer have been tested, with 964 testing clean and 131 awaiting results. In Kent County, along with 305 that tested negative, 89 are awaiting results. And in a nine-township "hot zone" in northern Kent County around the area where the farm-raised deer was found, 224 deer have tested negative with results pending on 67 more.

Testing of deer continues as the state hopes to ensure the disease is not spreading in the wild population. It aims to test 8,000 deer this year. Deer being tested are brought in by hunters as well as harvested with special permits in the hot zone area.

To prevent large numbers of deer from visiting single locations where the disease might spread, the DNR in September instituted a complete ban in the Lower Peninsula on feeding deer, whether as bait for hunting or for recreational viewing. The illness spreads through an abnormal protein carried in deer feces, urine and saliva that can survive for years in the ground.

Source: MLive

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