WEST MICHIGAN -- Two new cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) are suspected in deer killed in Gratiot and Eaton counties.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said Wednesday that the bucks were killed by hunters in Pine River Township (Gratiot County) and Carmel Township (Eaton County). Samples from the animals were sent to the National Veterinary Services Lab in Iowa for confirmation that they have the disease.
Of 16,000 deer tested for the disease by the DNR so far this year, 20 cases have been confirmed.
CWD cases have been confirmed in Kent, Ionia, Montcalm, Ingham, Clinton, Dickinson and Jackson counties, the DNR says. There are 18 additional suspected cases in Clinton, Kent and Montcalm counties.
CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose, according to the DNR.
"Most of the deer that have been tested positive outwardly look very healthy and act normally" said Chad Stewart of the Michigan DNR. "It can remain hidden on the landscape, and that's why we encourage hunters, even if they harvest an animal that looks and acts healthy, to have it submitted for testing, because it could have the disease."
Deer check stations and drop boxes will continue to be open throughout the remaining hunting season. For more information on locations and hours, visit michigan.gov/deercheck.