Burnett County Elk Tests Positive for CWD

Release Date: August 26, 2019

Contact: Leeann Duwe, Public Information Officer, (608) 224-5005

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MADISON –Based on test results from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, IA, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) confirms that an elk from a breeding farm in Burnett County has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). The 6-year old male was euthanized due to an injury and showed no symptoms of the disease. As a result of the positive finding, DATCP has quarantined the farm and the remaining 5 elk in the herd. A quarantine means no animals may move in or out of the property and restricts movement of carcasses. No elk have left the farm since the herd was formed in 2014.

The owner will continue to test all elk that die to monitor if the disease has spread to other animals in the herd. DATCP's Division of Animal Health will investigate the animal's health history and the premises to determine if any other herds may have been exposed to the CWD-positive elk.​

CWD is a fatal, neurological disease of deer, elk, and moose caused by an infectious protein called a prion that affects the animal's brain. Testing for CWD can only be performed after the animal's death. More information about CWD is available at https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/ChronicWastingDisease.aspx​. DATCP regulates deer farms for registration, recordkeeping, disease testing, movement, and permit requirements. To learn more about deer farm regulations in Wisconsin, visit DATCP's farm-raised deer program at https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/FarmRaisedDeer.aspx. The Department of Natural Resources monitors the state's wild whitetail deer for CWD and has resources available at https://dnr.wi.go​v/topic/wildlifeha​bitat/regulations.html. 


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