State wildlife officials publicly announced that Chronic Wasting Disease was detected in wild white-tailed deer just a week ago and now sharpshooters have begun killing as many deer as possible in a Michigan township.
Sharpshooters hired by the state began their work June 3 in Meridian Township and are focusing on a 2-mile area, according to the Lansing State Journal. According to the report state officials knew about the positive test for the diseased deer in the area in early May but didn’t immediately publicly announce it immediately.
This is the first case of CWD in a wild Michigan deer. Other cases have involved high-fence deer.
The newspaper report didn’t identify the sharpshooters and Michigan DNR officials passed the buck. Here’s what the paper reported: It’s not clear how many deer the state plans to kill or who is killing them. DNR deer management specialist Chad Stewart referred those questions to USDA Wildlife Services, which did not return a message seeking comment. It’s also unclear how many deer are in the township, but township Manager Frank Walsh said there is no immediate plan to conduct a count.
“We don’t know how widespread the disease is and over what geographic area,” Stewart told the paper. “We’ll start within two miles and go out from there.” He also said the culling will continue through summer but is unlikely to be conducted in hunting season, which opens Oct. 1.
State officials will be testing all deer killed for CWD, which is found in more than two dozen states and Canadian provinces. It affects the neurological system of cervids including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and others.
Officials said the meat will not be donated to food banks.
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