MADISON — Laboratory results from white-tailed deer killed on a Portage County farm earlier this year show that 60 of the 76 animals tested positive for chronic wasting disease.
The deer — a mix of does and yearlings — were destroyed Jan. 17 by U.S. Department of Agriculture shooters under a USDA agreement with the owner, Stan Hall. Tissue samples were sent to the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for initial screening tests and to the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, for confirmation.
The 76 deer constituted the breeding herd on Hall’s farm, known as Buckhorn Flats. He also operated a hunting preserve on the property until 2005. Four deer — two does and two fawns — killed in the former preserve were also tested. CWD was not detected in those animals.
Hall will receive state and federal indemnity payments for the 76 deer killed in the breeding pens. The amount of compensation, which is based on breeding age and trophy status, has not been finalized.
The first case of CWD among Wisconsin’s farm-raised deer occurred in a buck shot by a hunter at Buckhorn Flats in September 2002. These results bring to 82 the total number of Hall’s CWD-positive animals.
The property will undergo cleaning and disinfection when weather permits. No species of deer or elk can be brought onto the property for five years, and fences must be maintained to keep wild deer from entering the property.
Other than Buckhorn Flats, CWD has been found in 12 white-tailed deer and 1 elk on six other Wisconsin farms.