MADISON — A whitetail deer that died on a Racine County farm has tested positive for chronic wasting disease, State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Ehlenfeldt announced today.
The National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, reported the test results Friday, May 21. According to the farm’s records on file with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, the doe was 9 years old. She had died of natural causes and a sample for CWD testing was collected May 1. Department rules require that all farm-raised deer and elk 16 months or older must be tested when they die, go to slaughter or are killed.
The deer was owned by Colin Breber, of Raymond, and was one of a small herd of about 10 whitetails. The herd is enrolled in the state’s CWD monitoring program.
Breber’s farm was quarantined Saturday, May 22, because the remaining animals have been exposed to CWD. The quarantine stops movement of live deer off the farm. Department staff are tracing movements of deer onto and from the farm, to find the source of the CWD-positive deer as well as other herds that may have been exposed.
Department policy calls for destroying herds in which CWD has been found, as well as source herds where CWD positive animals originated.
In all, 15 herds in Wisconsin are under quarantines related to CWD. Only two of those herds actually have had animals test positive. The rest are herds that may have been exposed to CWD, either because of contact with infected animals or because they are within the Department of Natural Resources disease eradication zone.
To date, 16 farm-raised animals in Wisconsin have tested positive for CWD on five farms. One of the infected animals was an elk; the rest have been whitetail deer.