More Wisconsin deer test CWD positive, total now


Mar 11, 2001
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Dec. 7, 2002

3 more deer test positive for wasting disease

Animals killed within CWD eradication zone

The Associated Press

The first round of tests of deer killed in Wisconsin’s fall hunts found no evidence that chronic wasting disease has spread beyond the area where it originally was found, the state Department of Natural Resources said Friday.

However, the testing found three more deer killed in the Mount Horeb area were infected with the disease, the agency reported on its Web site.

That means the state has found 44 deer with mad-deer disease — all of them in a two-county area just west of Madison — since the DNR announced the discovery of the disease in the overpopulated whitetail herd Feb. 28.

The testing indicates about 3 percent of the herd in the Mount Horeb area is infected with the disease. The diseased deer have been found in Dane and Iowa counties.

So far, the DNR has test results back from 108 of the deer donated by hunters in October and November from areas outside southwest Wisconsin in a study to find out how widespread the disease is in the state’s herd.

The incurable disease creates sponge-like holes in the deer’s brain, causing the animal to grow thin, act abnormal and die. The DNR is not sure how the deer became infected.

The agency has the results back from 2,468 brain samples from deer killed statewide. That leaves about 34,100 samples awaiting analysis, a process the DNR says will probably take at least three months to complete.

“The data today is consistent with what we know,” DNR spokesman Bob Manwell said Friday.

Earlier this week, a private laboratory in Wauwatosa reported a 2½-year-old buck killed in southern Grant County last month by a Monticello hunter tested positive for chronic wasting disease, the first evidence the disease had spread beyond Dane or Iowa counties. The DNR wants to verify that test result.

The DNR has tested four deer so far from Grant County and none was infected, according to information released Friday.

The DNR wants to kill nearly 30,000 deer in a 411-square-mile area near Mount Horeb to try to eradicate the disease from the herd. About 11,000 have been shot so far, DNR wildlife supervisor Carl Batha said Friday.

It now appears unlikely the state can reduce the deer numbers as significantly as the DNR had first hoped, Batha said.

Hunting in the area continues through Jan. 31.

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