The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) confirms that a white-tail deer herd at a Burnett County breeding farm that tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in 2020 was depopulated on March 3, 2021. None of the remaining 14 deer tested positive for the disease.
In October 2020, a 4-year-old whitetail buck tested positive for CWD at the 5-acre farm. DATCP immediately quarantined all animals on the premises, meaning no live animals or whole carcasses were permitted to leave the property. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services depopulated the herd, and samples were sent to the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for testing.
The farm owner will receive federal indemnity for the depopulated animals. As a condition of receiving federal indemnity, the farm will not be permitted to hold cervids for five years, and during that time it must maintain fences and submit to routine inspections.
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, and testing for CWD is typically only performed after the animal’s death. DATCP regulates deer farms for registration, recordkeeping, disease testing, movement, and permit requirements.