Michigan steps up efforts to reduce spread of chronic wasting disease in deer

Nov 30, 2017

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has tested over eleven thousand deer heads this year for evidence of chronic wasting disease.

Officials with the department say that compares with twelve thousand that were tested over the two previous two years combined.

Chad Stewart is the Deer Management Specialist with the DNR. He said Michigan is stepping up efforts to keep the disease from spreading.

“This year it expanded greatly because we just identified chronic wasting disease in Montcalm County in free ranging deer and we also had CWD detected from a captive deer farmer up in Mecosta County.”

Stewart said to date, CWD has been found in portions of Ingham, Montcalm, Mecosta, and Clinton counties.

Stewart said the DNR has stepped up management efforts, in part, because of new research into the disease.

“There is some concerning research coming out of Canada that shows it may be possible for Chronic Wasting Disease to jump species, in this case primates. They’re actually using macaques, which is a type of monkey.”

Stewart said the Center for Disease Control has advised hunters against consuming the meat of  infected deer.

He said the state is doing everything it can to keep the disease under control.