Deer hunting in Michigan? Beware of bovine tuberculosis

LANSING, Mich. –The Michigan Department of Natural Resources issued a warning to hunters as deer season approaches.

Bovine tuberculosis (TB) was found last year in deer in 10 Michigan counties. Those counties include: Antrim, Cheboygan, Crawford, Emmet, Iosco, Mecosta, Osceola, Otsego, Roscommon, and Shiawassee.

TB is a serious disease caused by certain bacteria that attack the respiratory system of animals and humans, according to the DNR.

“We are the only state in nation that has bTB established in wild deer,” said Kelly Straka, DNR state wildlife veterinarian.

This is what an infected deer’s rib cage will look like this (see picture below). You can tell the deer has TB because of the bubbles and white spots near the deer’s rib cage.

Photo from Michigan DNR of bovine tuberculosis

Food contaminated by saliva from an infected animal with TB can spread the disease. This is the primary way that cattle and deer can infect one another, according to the DNR.

The DNR is urging hunters to submit heads for testing from all deer harvested in the following counties: Alcona, Alpena, Cheboygan, Crawford, Huron, Iosco, Lake, Mecosta, Montmorency, Newaygo, Ogemaw, Osceola, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, and Roscommon.

The testing is free. More info here.