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Chronic Wasting Disease Confirmed in a Farmed White-Tailed Deer from Newaygo County

LANSING, MI –The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has confirmed chronic wasting disease (CWD) in one white-tailed deer from a farmed cervid facility in Newaygo County. The infected four-and-a-half-year-old deer was discovered through routine testing as part of the state’s CWD surveillance program for farmed deer.

“Limiting the spread and impact of CWD on Michigan’s farmed cervid herds hinges on the ability to detect the disease early and respond promptly,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. “While regular CWD surveillance testing is central to accomplishing this goal, MDARD’s continued partnership with herd owners, hunters, and other state and federal partners is also crucial to effectively managing this disease. Ensuring the health of Michigan’s farmed cervid population is a team effort.”

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects different cervid species, including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose. CWD can be transmitted directly from one animal to another and indirectly through the environment. While an infected animal may appear healthy for months or years, it will eventually display abnormal behavior, progressive weight loss, and physical debilitation in the later stages of the disease.

The presence of CWD in farmed cervid facilities and free-ranging deer is not new to Michigan. Since 2008, including this new case, CWD has been detected at 11 Michigan cervid farms in the following counties: Kent (2), Mecosta (4), Montcalm (3), and Newaygo (2).

With free-ranging deer, CWD was first discovered in May 2015; and cases have been found across 11 counties in Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. To date, no free-ranging white-tailed deer have tested positive for CWD in Newaygo County.  

As part of MDARD’s disease response, investigations are ongoing to rule out any possible exposure to other farmed cervids.

Currently, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in humans. However, as a precaution, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that CWD-infected animals should not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals.

More information about CWD can be found at or