Pair of Elk In Kent Co. Confirmed To Have Chronic Wasting Disease
Two elk on a Kent County cervid farm are confirmed to have the chronic wasting disease known as CWD.
CWD has become a big problem with Michigan's deer herd. CWD is why hunters are no longer allowed to bait deer in the Lower Peninsula. CWD can transmit from animal to animal in a variety of ways, and eating the same food.
These two elk are the first cases of CDW the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development have confirmed in the state.
Cervid animals are elk, whitetail deer, reindeer, fallow, sika, and red deer. Cervid farms raise deer for hunting ranches, breeding, and consumption.
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal neurological disease that causes whitetail deer, mule deer, elk, and moose to display abnormal behavior, weight loss and eventually causes physical debilitation.
FOX 17 reported that one of the elk is a three-and-a-half-year-old and the other is a two-and-a-half-year-old. The state tested the elk while doing disease tracing at other Michigan cervid facilities where animals had tested positive for CWD.
One of the big problems of CWD is that in the beginning, you don't know the deer or elk has the disease. They show no symptoms early on and may appear healthy for months or even years. The lack of symptoms allows the animals to spread it to others before detection.
Nine Michigan cervid farms located in Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, and Newaygo counties have detected cases of CWD since 2008.
The state is still testing other animals at the facility and other facilities across the state.