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Deers At Mecosta County Found Positive For Chronic Waste Disease

Update Date: Jan 21, 2017 05:56 PM EST
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Two female does in Central Michigan have been found positive for chronic wasting disease. Officials at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said the whitetail does were from the Mecosta County farm.

This has been the second reported sighting of the disease in Michigan. The first was in 2008, where a whit tailed deer was also found positive for CWD in Kent County.

CWD is highly contagious and is considered a fatal neurological disease affecting deer, elk and moose. It can be transmitted from one animal to another through saliva, feces and urine. Infected animals might show abnormal behavior, weight loss and physical debilitation after years of incubation according to Detroit Free Press.

The samples from the two deer were submitted for mandatory testing for the chronic wasting disease surveillance program.

After the results showed positive on Jan. 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa had the 2 does retested and results still came back positive.

The owner of the facility was not notified in advance. DNR officials saw a potential to destroy records.

"I'm not saying it's the case with the people that own the facility, but we've found that some people are less than honest," the DNR official said, who prefers to stay anonymous while the investigation is ongoing.

CBS Detroit reported Mecosta County farm has been quarantined and officials and local farmers are working together to test all deer from the herd. To ensure and prevent the spread of the disease, deer within a 15-mile radius will undergo testing as well.

DNR will work outside the fence and conduct testing on Monday. Landowners and hunt clubs will then be advised to shoot deer since the only way to test a deer is to check for infected tissues in the brain.

 "If we find it, we move to expand the surveillance zone," Russ Mason DNR's wildlife chief said "If we don't find it, that's where it ends, and we continue to collect samples. If nothing is found in three years, I think we've dodged the bullet. It happened in 2008; it could happen now."

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