DATCP: Depopulated elk at Richland County farm test negative for chronic wasting disease

Media Contacts:
Leeann Duwe, Communications Specialist, (608) 224-5005
Bill Cosh, Communications Director, (608) 224-5020

MADISON – The Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory confirmed that no additional elk from the depopulated farm in Richland County tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). On August 16, a team comprised of Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and USDA-Wildlife Services staff coordinated the humane depopulation of the farm’s 11 elk. All 10 adult elk were tested for CWD.

The 20-acre elk farm had been quarantined since May 31 when DATCP confirmed a two-year-old female elk tested positive for CWD. According to the herd owner, one month prior to passing away the elk had exhibited seizures. The owner will receive a state indemnity payment after completing required cleaning and disinfection of the farm. The farm will remain fenced and is not allowed to have any CWD-prone animals for at least five years.

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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