Madison , Wis. – A wild white-tailed deer from Brighton township in Kenosha County, just north of Paddock Lake, has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). “Like the positives found earlier in Rock and Walworth counties, this Kenosha County positive is disappointing but not unexpected. The closeness of known CWD positives across the border in Illinois caused us to consider the deer population in our border counties to be at risk for the disease,” said Tom Hauge, Director of Wildlife Management with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Both the Wisconsin DNR and Illinois DNR increased CWD surveillance efforts in the border counties during the Fall 2003 deer hunt. So far, six Wisconsin deer have tested positive in Rock, Walworth and Kenosha counties. Illinois has identified 30 CWD-positive deer in their border counties to date.
“Deer hunters in both states are key partners in the effort to learn about and control CWD. We’ve asked hunters to have their deer tested in these counties and they’ve responded. The new information we’re getting is due to their efforts. Test results are crucial to mapping the extent of infection in the states,” Hauge said. In addition to increased surveillance, both states have begun reducing the deer population in previously identified CWD-infected areas to help slow the spread of the disease. The Wisconsin DNR will continue to work with Illinois to share information that will help both states manage the disease. Throughout the winter, the DNR will be conducting ongoing surveillance in Kenosha, Walworth and Rock counties where CWD-positive deer have been discovered. The DNR will continue to seek CWD samples from these counties, taking advantage of car-killed deer, municipal deer control projects, landowner permits, and targeted shooting and trapping on selected sites by agency personnel. Additionally, the DNR is encouraging people to call their local wildlife biologist if they see a sick-looking deer. “We are very grateful to hunters and all others in Kenosha County who have helped us get the deer tissue samples needed in order to look for CWD. We would not have found this sick deer without their help,”said Marty Johnson, Wildlife Biologist. “We are asking for their continued support so we can better determine the extent of CWD in the county.”
To date, results have been returned from the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab on 45 of 56 deer submitted during 2002 and 2003 from Kenosha County for CWD testing. One has tested positive. This positive deer was taken by a hunter and brought in to the DNR for testing on November 22, 2003. Like in all other areas of the state, hunters from Kenosha County that submitted deer for CWD testing will receive a postcard from the DNR if the deer they harvested tested negative for CWD. The DNR will contact hunters and landowners by phone if the deer tested positive. Additionally, hunters can access test results at www.dnr.state.wi.us , under “CWD Testing Results.” The online results database will be updated automatically as test results are returned from the lab and hunters who harvested positive deer are properly notified. For more information on CWD in Wisconsin, please visit the Wisconsin DNR’s Web site www.dnr.state.wi.us and click on “Chronic Wasting Disease in Wisconsin.” Information on CWD in Illinois can be found at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/Pages/default.aspx.