MADISON — A fourth deer from 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 Tuesday, Nov. 2, that a 5½-year-old whitetail shot at Buckhorn Flats Game Farm, Almond, was infected with the fatal disease. The animal was routinely sampled for CWD after being shot in a paid hunt. 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.

According to farm owner Stan Hall, the animal was born on the premises. Two previous CWD-positive animals on his preserve had been purchased from other farms, and one previous one was also born on his farm.

The department issued an order in July to kill Hall’s herd for testing, based on the first positive result, but he has appealed the order. That appeal is in process before an administrative law judge within the department.

Department rules call for testing herds that have been exposed to CWD. Because there is no test for live animals, exposed herds must be killed.

The Hall farm has been under quarantine since September 2002, when the first CWD-positive animal found on a Wisconsin farm was shot there. He has been permitted to conduct paid hunts because the quarantine applies only to live animals, which may pose a risk of disease transmission.

In all, 16 herds in Wisconsin are under quarantine for CWD. There are seven herds connected with Hall’s case, including his own herd; two that received animals from a herd in Minnesota later found to be infected; and seven that are within the Department of Natural Resources CWD disease eradication zone.

To date, 12 farm-raised animals in Wisconsin have tested positive for CWD on four farms. One of the infected animals was an elk; the rest have been whitetail deer.