Chronic Wasting Disease found in Northland Deer

By KBJR News 1

April 3, 2012 Updated Apr 3, 2012 at 6:07 PM CDT

The Department of Natural Resources has announced that chronic wasting disease has been found in a wild adult doe just west of Shell Lake in Washburn County.

This is the first wild CWD-positive deer to be found in northern Wisconsin.

The 3 1/2-year old doe was euthanized by the Washburn County Sheriff's Office on a small parcel of private land.

A search is now underway to find out if the disease is present in other wild deer in the area.

The DNR will begin a focused disease surveillance effort within a 10-mile radius around the area in which the infected deer was found.

Under state statutes the DNR is required to enact a ban on deer feeding and baiting in any county within 10 miles of any deer that tests positive for CWD.

DNR spokespeople say, at this point, they don't anticipate this finding will impact hunting this fall.

However the DNR will be asking hunters, registration officials, processors and taxidermists to collect tissue samples to submit for analysis to learn if any other sick deer exist in Northern Wisconsin.

In addition the DNR will also take steps to collect adult road kill deer to gather additional samples.

CWD is a nervous system disease of deer, moose, and elk.

Current information suggests that CWD may be transmitted both directly through animal to animal contact and indirectly through a CWD contaminated environment.

Recent studies indicate that CWD prions exist in the saliva, urine, and feces of infected deer.