MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirms a wild deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the Town of Eldorado in north-central Fond du Lac County, within 10 miles of the Winnebago County border. As required by state law, the DNR will renew the baiting and feeding bans in Fond du Lac and Winnebago counties.
A local landowner reported the deer, an adult doe, to the department in early October. The deer showed outward signs of disease and possible injury by car collision. This is the first wild deer detection in Fond du Lac County.
To help slow the spread of CWD, the DNR enacts baiting and feeding bans in counties where deer have tested positive for CWD as required by state law. Bait piles can encourage deer to congregate unnaturally around a shared food source where sick deer can spread CWD through direct contact with healthy deer or by leaving behind infectious prions in their saliva and urine.
Baiting and feeding were already banned in Fond du Lac County and Winnebago counties due to CWD detections in adjoining counties within 10 miles of the county line. This most recent detection will extend the ban for three years in Fond du Lac County and for two years in Winnebago County.
The DNR asks deer hunters within Fond du Lac and Winnebago Counties to assist with efforts to identify where CWD occurs. Those harvesting deer within 10 miles of the most recent positive are especially encouraged to have their harvested adult deer tested for CWD. Collecting CWD samples is essential for assessing where and to what extent CWD occurs in deer across the state.
As ever, successful CWD management depends in part on citizen involvement in the decision-making process through local County Deer Advisory Councils (CDAC). The DNR and the Fond du Lac CDAC will hold a public meeting on the status of CWD and a response plan for sampling wild deer in Fond du Lac County. The meeting will take place Tuesday, November 16 at 6 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center (Meeting Room B) located at 625 W Rolling Meadows Drive in Fond du Lac.
CWD is a fatal, infectious nervous system disease of deer, moose, elk and reindeer/caribou. It belongs to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases. CWD occurs only in members of the Cervidae or deer family – both wild and captive. The Wisconsin DNR began monitoring the state’s wild white-tailed deer population for CWD in 1999. The first positives were found in 2002.