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Michigan updates plans for managing CWD

From Michigan Department of Natural Resources

-- Michigan’s Natural Resources Commission has changed chronic wasting disease baiting and feeding regulations, as outlined in the state’s newly revised CWD response plan Aug. 9.

This is the first revision to the plan since it was adopted ten years ago. The updated plan takes into account research and case studies on CWD now available since the original Surveillance and Response Plan for Chronic Wasting Disease of Free-ranging and Privately Owned Cervids was finalized in 2002.

“CWD is a reportable disease, so if the disease is detected in free ranging cervids or a Michigan Privately Owned Cervid facility, we will define a surveillance zone around the positive case,” said Steven Halstead, state veterinarian. “This plan should protect Michigan’s cervid industry as well as Michigan’s free-ranging deer population while meeting our ultimate goal of safeguarding animal health.”

The principal changes to the plan:

-- The plan will be implemented if a CWD-positive animal is found within 10 miles of the Michigan border, rather than 50 miles as in the original plan.

-- Baiting and feeding will be banned in any county within a 10-mile radius of where CWD is detected.

-- All privately owned cervid facilities within that zone will be required to complete increased disease testing of their herds to monitor for signs of CWD.

-- If the disease is diagnosed in a privately owned cervid facility, all facilities that have had contact (through purchases, sales or immediate contact) will undergo increased disease surveillance testing, and exposed animals will be removed from contact herds. These changes eliminate the peninsula-wide management provisions for dealing with a CWD occurrence.

Actions remaining from the original response plan include immediate baiting and feeding bans, a restriction on removing anything more than the boned meat, hide and antlers of a deer or elk taken within the CWD management zone, and mandatory CWD testing of animals remain in effect.

Michigan’s Regional Deer Advisory Teams and a variety of hunting groups have reviewed the modified plan.

The updated plan, and more information about CWD, is available online at www.michigan.gov/cwd

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