Deer Hunters Warned of Deadly Bacteria

Fox News – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is warning hunters to be wary of bovine tuberculosis in deer.

The “serious contagious disease” is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium bovis. It’s spread “primarily through the exchange of respiratory secretions,” such as coughing or sneezing.

“This disease is contagious and can be debilitating to deer. Severely infected animals can struggle to even breathe,” DNR state wildlife veterinarian Kelly Straka said.

In Michigan, the disease came to light in 1994 when a hunter shot an infected deer.

Since then, Michigan has become the only state that has bovine tuberculosis established in wild deer.

As of July 2017, about 900 of the estimated 230,000 deer tested were positive for bovine tuberculosis.

Officials rely on hunters to help manage the disease. Hunters should submit any deer showing signs of the infection — like lesions in the rib cage — to the state for testing. Read more at Fox News. 

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