Don't eat deer that looks like this, bovine tuberculosis in MI deer

  • Don't eat deer that looks like this, bovine tuberculosis in MI deer

Don't eat deer that looks like this, bovine tuberculosis in MI deer

Authorities are warning hunters to be on the lookout for bovine tuberculosis in deer.

Although bovine TB typically occurs in cattle, it can infect almost any mammal, including humans. This is the primary way that cattle and deer can infect one another, according to the DNR. The DNR said the core area is located around the four corners where the counties of Montmorency, Alpena, Oscoda and Alcona meet; while Antrim, Crawford, Emmet, Iosco, Mecosta, Osceola, Otsego, Presque Isle and Roscommon Counties have also had animals test positive for bovine TB.

Affected animals may have yellow to tan, pea-sized nodules in the chest cavity or lungs.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources called it an 'emerging disease,' which has recently affected a large beef herd in Alcona County, Michigan. In severely infected deer, lesions can sometimes be found throughout the animal's entire body.

In Michigan, the disease came to light in 1994 when a hunter shot a 4-year-old white-tailed deer infected with bovine tuberculosis - the first time since 1975 when a separate hunter shot and killed a wild deer that had the disease, according to the state DNR. Hunters should submit any deer showing signs of the infection - like lesions in the rib cage - to the state DNR for testing.

The DNR and other agencies working to eradicate bovine tuberculosis from our state encourage MI residents to educate themselves about this affliction and do what they can as individuals and groups to help fight it.

WSMH reports tuberculosis is a serious disease caused by bacteria that attack the respiratory system of animals and people.

For more information about bovine TB in MI visit this link. Annual surveillance and movement testing are required of cattle producers, which helps catch the disease early and prevents it from being moved off the farm. "Preventing deer from having contact with cattle feed, feed storage or watering areas is crucial for farmers in this area of MI and a part of wildlife biosecurity programs being implemented".

Assistant State Veterinarian Nancy Barr says farmers in that area should do all they can to prevent deer from having contact with cattle feeding and watering areas.