DATCP: Confirms CWD-positive elk in Sauk County

Contact: Bill Cosh, Communications Director, 608-224-5020, William2.Cosh@wi.gov

MADISON – The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) confirms that an elk from a breeding farm in Sauk County has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). The National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed the test results and the farm has been quarantined. A quarantine means no animals may move in or out of the farm.

The 5-year-old cow died while giving birth. The fenced farm has 15 elk, according to the owner’s most recent registration. The farm has been licensed since 1997 and is not enrolled in the CWD Herd Status Program. More information about CWD testing requirements for farms enrolled and non-enrolled in the program can be found on the DATCP website.

DATCP’s Animal Health Division will investigate the animal’s history to try to determine how it was exposed to CWD.

CWD is a fatal, neurological disease of deer, elk, and moose caused by an infectious protein that affects the animal’s brain. Testing for CWD can only be performed after the animal’s death. For more information about CWD visit DATCP’s website. DATCP regulates deer farms for registration, recordkeeping, disease testing, movement, and permit requirements. To learn more about deer farm regulations in Wisconsin, visit DATCP’s farm-raised deer program. The Department of Natural Resources also provides resources for CWD and monitors the state’s wild white-tailed deer for CWD.

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