Based on test results from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection announced that a white-tailed buck from a hunting ranch in Forest County tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

The 6-year-old buck was born on a breeding farm in Marinette County and was moved to the 230-acre hunt ranch in 2014.

Both the breeding farm and hunt ranch have been quarantined since June 2018, because the breeding farm tested positive for CWD and both locations are registered to the same owner. A quarantine means no animals may move in or out of the locations, thus helping prevent the spread of disease.

According to the owner’s most recent registration, the hunting ranch contains only white-tailed deer. DATCP’s Division of Animal Health is working with the owner of the Forest County facility to determine if any changes are needed to the existing herd plan. A herd plan provides restrictions under a quarantine that the owner must operate under to prevent the spread of disease.

CWD is a fatal 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. DATCP regulates deer farms for registration, recordkeeping, disease testing, movement and permit requirements.

The Division of Animal Health monitors animal health and disease threats, promotes humane treatment of animals, and provides licensing and registration regulation for animals in Wisconsin.

The Department of Natural Resources also provides resources for CWD and monitors the state’s wild white-tailed deer for CWD.