Chronic Wasting Disease

Picture of Deer

Chronic wasting disease is a contagious, neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose. It causes a degeneration of the brain resulting in emaciation (abnormally thin), abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death. CWD is fatal; once an animal is infected there is no recovery or cure. To date, there is no evidence that CWD can be naturally transmitted to humans or to other animals.

In the last several years, the state has seen the disease dramatically increase in numbers and area. The graph below shows the number of cases for 2015 through 2018. In 2018 there were 116 reported cases statewide. The disease can now be found in both the upper and lower peninsulas of the state.Chronic Wasting Disease Graph

The fiscal year 2020 Executive Budget Recommendation invests $2.3 million for Chronic Wasting Disease. There will be $2 million in one-time funding devoted to research on the transmission, spread, and prevention of the disease, and $300,000 in ongoing funding to cover laboratory costs associated with the increase in the number of deer tested for the disease. 

Learn more for the DNR on Chronic Wasting Disease.