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Captive deer on game farm has chronic wasting disease

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - For the first time in five years, a captive deer on a Wisconsin game farm is found to have chronic wasting disease.  

The state agriculture department said Monday that a five-year-old buck tested positive for the fatal brain disease, after being shot November 4th at a preserve near Eland in eastern Marathon County.

Officials are not sure how the animal contracted CWD. The discovery was made as part of a routine test.

All deer and elk killed on game farms and hunting preserves must be tested for the disease. The ag department did not identify the preserve by name. It has about 370 deer in an enclosed site that covers about 350 acres. Hunting will still be allowed there.  

State veterinarian Paul McGraw did order a quarantine in which no animals can be transferred from the affected preserve or three nearby deer farms with the same owner. Officials say they'll check animal transfer records to see if it uncovers any clues of why CWD appeared on the site.  

Almost 100 infected deer have been discovered on eight Wisconsin game farms and shooting preserves from 2002 through '08. The biggest case was in Portage County, where 82 deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease in 2006.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)