The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) announced today that chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for the first time. CWD is a fatal nervous system disease that affects deer, moose and elk populations, causing them to become emaciated and confused while wandering aimlessly and unafraid of humans.
Although the disease cannot be transmitted to humans, it has disastrous implications for the health of Michigan’s deer herds.
In response, State Rep. Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain) is urging the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to take swift action to stop the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the Upper Peninsula after the DNR diagnosed the first incident of the disease in Waucedah Township.
“We must do everything we can to protect Michigan’s natural resources for generations to come, and so I have urged the DNR to take every possible step toward eradicating the disease in Waucedah as quickly as possible,” LaFave said. “I also urge all hunters to do their part to contain CWD by bringing their deer in for testing.”
Chronic wasting disease is a fatal nervous system disease found in deer, moose and elk. The disease attacks the brain of infected animals, creating small lesions, which result in neurologic symptoms. The disease is always fatal in animals that contract it.
According to the DNR, the affected 4-year-old doe was killed on a deer damage shooting permit on a farm in Dickinson County’s Waucedah Township, which is located about four miles from the Michigan-Wisconsin border. The finding was verified by Michigan State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in East Lansing and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.
Responsible hunting is an important part of containing the spread of CWD.
State Rep. Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette) released the following statement:
“We took many measures to try to prevent this terrible disease from infecting our U.P. herds, but with the first confirmed case, we’re urging all hunters to continue to follow the guidelines put out by the MDNR. Make sure every deer is checked and tested at the designated stations, avoid long-distance movement of deer carcasses, and stay up-to-date on all the latest news and regulations.”
Joining Rep. Cambensy, state Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) added:
“Hunting makes up so much of who we are in the U.P. and it’s sad to see it threatened by the spread of this awful disease. It’s up to all of us hunters to protect that tradition for future generations by making sure that we follow the guidelines set by the MDNR to keep this from spreading further throughout the peninsula. This is an issue I have been focused on since I attended the first meetings held about the threat of CWD in the U.P. I will continue to work with the MDNR and the U.P. CWD Task Force to find ways to limit the impact of this disease and keep our residents educated on this issue.”