MADISON — A white-tailed deer on a Portage County hunting preserve 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 Thursday, Oct. 9. The animal was a 7½-year-old doe owned by Alligator Creek Whitetails LLC and was one of about 150 deer in the preserve. The 119-acre preserve near Junction City in the Town of Eau Pleine in Portage County.
The deer was killed on Sept. 20. The Animal Health Division of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s investigation will look at the animal’s history and trace movements of deer onto and off the property to find out whether other herds may have been exposed to CWD.
Deer herds on hunting preserves are generally not on the state’s CWD monitoring program. However, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection 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.
Ehlenfeldt quarantined the Alligator Creek herd immediately. The quarantine stops movement of live deer off or onto the property without written permission from the department. The business will be allowed to conduct hunts through Jan. 15, because properly handled dead animals leaving the premises do not pose a disease risk. Hunters must be notified of the quarantine and the reason for it.
This is the first new CWD-infected herd on a Wisconsin farm since January 2005.
To date, 97 farm-raised animals in Wisconsin have tested positive for CWD on eight farms and hunting preserves, including 82 on a single Portage County operation. One of the infected animals was an elk; the rest have been white-tailed deer. To date, more than 21,500 farm-raised deer and elk have been tested.