State expands Chronic Wasting Zone

Posted at 6:59 PM, Jul 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-05 18:59:00-04

Now, any hunter who kills a deer in Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Shiawassee, or Ionia counties must take it to a Department of Natural Resources station.

The DNR is also expanding the core area where it will be focusing the most on the disease to including 17 townships around Mid-Michigan.

When the Department of Natural Resources were testing for one case of CWD they found 3 others.

"We anticipate they've been there for a while but we just found it through our surveillance efforts," said Chad Stewart with the DNR.

After that scare, they realized they needed to change their tactics.

"We're expanding our management zone for the benefit of surveillance so we understand maybe where the margin of this disease are on the landscape but also to prevent it as well," said Stewart.

The expansion now reaches eight additional townships including Lansing, Meridian and Delhi.

They don't believe there are more infected deer but they're just taking precaution.

"the whole concept of expanding our management zone is basically meant to minimize or prevent the spread of disease that we have right now," Stewart said.

With the expansion comes more regulations like a ban on feeding and baiting in the core CWD ares like Meridian Township.

The department is also changing a few older rules to encourage more hunters to go out.

"Early detection is one of the best methods to preventing the spread of this disease," he said. "That's where our hunters play a valuable role."

Stewart tells Fox 47 News the expansion isn't something we should be alarmed by.

"Nobody really wants to deal with it," he said. "Nobody wishes they have this disease in their backyard but it's something that we need a lot of support from landowners and hunters."

That's why they need those hunters to get their leftover deer tested.

"It's really important we need their participation to help with our surveillance because without them we wouldn't be able to find these new positives that we've found," Stewart said.

Now they're hoping the expansion will allow them to test for more.