LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – The DNR wants to remind hunters to check their deer for chronic wasting disease in this hunting season.
Just recently, a 4-year-old goat in Pine River Township, Gratiot County, and a 2-year-old goat, in Carmel Township, Eaton County, are suspected of the disease. .
Samples of the deer were sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for confirmation.
The disease of chronic wasting was confirmed in Clinton, Dickinson, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Kent and Montcalm counties prior to this discovery.
The Michigan rifle season lasts for about 12 days.
"I continue to be impressed by the hunters' commitment to the health of the Michigan deer, and I want to re-emphasize the importance of the actions of all hunters," said Chad Stewart, deer and elk specialist, DNR. "It was only through hunter assistance that we found MDC in new areas.
Stewart added that hunters should not forget to check their deer, dispose of the remains in suitable containers and, if possible, do more in areas exposed to CWD in the lower peninsula.
The deer checkpoints will remain open throughout the hunting season until early January.
The DNR says that several counties do not show a high participation of hunters checking their deer. These counties are Gratiot, Isabella, Jackson and Kent.
"The DNR sets monitoring targets – presented in the form of a number of deer tested in a particular area – to help us detect the presence of the disease at a certain level," Stewart said. "It is essential that we achieve these goals to better understand the distribution of chronic debilitating disease in Michigan. We therefore strongly encourage hunters in these areas to have their deer checked. "
To date, no case of MDC infection has been reported. However, as a precaution, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that infected animals should not be eaten as food by humans or pets.