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E-M:/ ANTRIM COUNTY DEER TESTS POSITIVE .REVISED..
Enviro-Mich message from firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is an issue that I KNOW is of great interest to a number of
Enviro-Mich folks, but one which we have not seen discussed here much.
Below is a DNR press release confirming detection of bovine TB in a
deer OUTSIDE the quarantine area in the Northeastern lower Michigan. A
week ago MDA Director Dan Wyant announced postponement of signing a
Memorandum of Understanding with USDA regarding the TB issue prompted
by the detection of at least one infected deer outside the quarantine
There are numerous caveats offered about how, with testing here at an
unprecedented level, the detection may be more a factor of enhanced
testing as opposed to spreading infections. Nonetheless, this issue
raises very important questions about HOW Michigan deals with a
controversial resource issue like this where there is tremendous
pressure from some interest groups not to change policies that they
like. Despite the mandate to do scientific management, the policies
seem to reflect the political strengths as opposed to science.
Michigan is one of the few (perhaps even the only?) state which allows
baiting of deer anymore, and deer feeding is a much bigger deal here
than almost anywhere else. But as the bovine TB issue began to
emerge, it took a few years for the regulations to control baiting and
feeding in a portion of the state to be put into place. One question
that nags at me, since the vector for transport of this very
problematic disease has been pretty well established, is why hasn't
the policy become prophylactic in nature -- ie, why isn't the state
banning feeding or setting a course for such a ban everywhere in the
lower peninsula? Other questions include: is the ultimate strategy
containment, or is it extermination? Are the policies being
considered now permanent attempts to resolve the problem, or are they
interim ones that in the back of the minds of some folks will be
eliminated when the issue dies down? And how does this all interact
with the other part of the problem (besides proximity of deer noses to
each other) which is continuing overpopulation of deer in Michigan?
At the March joint meeting of the Natural Resources Commission and the
Agriculture Commission this issue will be the primary focus of their
discussions. I am curious what thoughts are lurking out there in
Enviro-Mich land on this issue.
______________________________ Forward Header __________________________________
Author: <DNRWIRE@LISTSERV.CNOC.STATE.MI.US> at internet
Date: 1/14/00 12:00 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 14 JAN 00
CONTACT: Tim Roby, 517-373-1214
ANTRIM COUNTY DEER TESTS POSITIVE
LANSING--A wild deer from Antrim County has been determined
by the Michigan Department of Community Health Laboratory to
be culture positive for bovine tuberculosis, Michigan
Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Veterinarian Dr.
Stephen Schmitt said today. This is the first wild deer to be
found positive for the disease outside of the Movement
Restriction Zone, the area in Northeastern Michigan bounded
by I-75, M-55 and Lake Huron.
"The finding of a positive deer outside this area does not
necessarily mean that the disease has recently spread," Dr.
Schmitt said. "It is more likely that cases that already
existed in other areas of the state have been detected due
to the greatly increased surveillance that occurred during
In response to finding a TB-positive deer in Antrim County,
even greater surveillance in a 5-mile and a 25-mile radius
around the positive deer will be implemented by the DNR with
the continued assistance of hunters and others. In addition,
surveillance for tuberculosis in wild deer will also be
increased statewide for the year 2000.
The test result on the Antrim County deer was not a
surprise, according to Michigan State Veterinarian Dr. Mike
"The TB-positive results on the Antrim deer have been
anticipated and will cause no immediate change in either the
bovine TB testing program or quarantine in Northeast
Michigan," Dr. Chaddock said. "In Northwest Michigan, our
staff has already begun identifying all cattle, bison, goats,
livestock and captive deer and elk within a 10-mile radius of
the Antrim County deer. We will continue to work with the
livestock industry to provide information and whole-herd
testing in that area, to assess whether the deer finding has
parallels in the livestock."
Test results of two additional TB-suspect deer in Mecosta
and Osceola counties are expected in the next few weeks. The
US Department of Agriculture is planning to review
Michigan's bovine TB program in February. Information from
that review will be the basis for determining any change in
Michigan's bovine TB status.
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