MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) confirms that a Portage County deer and elk hunting ranch that tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in November 2018, was depopulated on May 9. Other than the initial CWD positive, none of the remaining 166 animals tested positive for CWD. Animals included white-tailed deer, red deer, sika, fallow, and elk.
The 220-acre hunting ranch had been quarantined since November 2018 when DATCP confirmed that a three-year old white-tailed buck tested positive for CWD. The hunting ranch had purchased the buck from a Portage County breeding farm that was depopulated on May 1 (Portage County Deer Farm Depopulated due to CWD). The owner will receive state indemnity for the depopulated animals after completing required cleaning and disinfection of the hunting ranch. The hunting ranch will remain fenced and is not allowed to have any CWD-susceptible animals for at least five years.
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 white-tailed deer for CWD and has resources available at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat/regulations.html.