A deer farm in Wisconsin is under quarantine after testing positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), a highly contagious and fatal brain disease.
Scientists with the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, confirmed that samples from a three-year-old doe tested positive for the neurological disease, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture announced Thursday.
The 150-acre farm, Thundeer Trophy Whitetails in Washburn County, has been placed under quarantine while state and federal agriculture officials conduct an epidemiological investigation. The farm has about 300 deer on its land.
The doe was transferred from Rodenkirch Whitetails and Genetics, a deer farm in Beaver Dam, to the farm on October 4, according to records obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The doe has since been culled from the farm’s herd.
The disease hadn’t been found at either facility at the time of the transfer, although a doe at the Rodenkirch farm tested positive in March.
Chronic wasting disease is a prion disease that can cause weight loss, stumbling, listlessness and neurological symptoms, according to the CDC. It has been spotted in deer, elk, reindeer and moose in areas of North America, Canada, Norway and South Korea. Symptoms can take up to a year to develop.
It was first detected in Wisconsin in 2002, and has forced the depopulation of deer from 22 facilities in the state.
CWD is fatal to infected animals, and so far, no treatments or vaccines have been discovered.
The CDC states that while there have been no reported CWD infections in people, some studies have suggested that it could pose a risk to humans.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Original article source: Wisconsin deer farm infected with fatal brain disease