Wisconsin DATCP: Confirms CWD-positive deer in Forest County

Media Contact: Leeann Duwe, Public Information Officer, 608-224-5005

MADISON – Based on test results from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) confirms that a whitetail buck from a hunting ranch in Forest County has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). The six-year old buck was born on a breeding farm in Marinette County and was moved to the 230-acre hunt ranch in 2014. Both the breeding farm and hunt ranch have been quarantined since June 2018 because the breeding farm tested positive for CWD and both locations are registered to the same owner. A quarantine means no animals may move in or out of the locations which helps to prevent the spread of disease.

According to the owner’s most recent registration, the hunting ranch contains only whitetail deer. DATCP’s Division of Animal Health is working with the owner of the Forest County facility to determine if any changes are needed to the existing herd plan. A herd plan provides restrictions under a quarantine that the owner must operate under to prevent the spread of disease.

CWD is a fatal disease of deer, elk, and moose caused by an infectious protein called a prion 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. DATCP’s Division of Animal Health monitors animal health and disease threats, promotes humane treatment of animals, and provides licensing and registration regulation for animals in Wisconsin.

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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