Michigan DNR to hunters: Test your deer for bovine tuberculosis

Michigan DNR to hunters: Test your deer for bovine tuberculosis
(Source: David Kenyon)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A warning from Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources made the rounds on social media this week.

The warning, as seen in this Michigan.gov article from July 2017, highlights the dangers of bovine tuberculosis and which warning signs to look out for.

The article says Michigan has been testing white-tailed deer for bovine tuberculosis year-round since 1995, and has the longest-running continuous wildlife TB surveillance program in the world. Tuberculosis, or TB, is a serious disease caused by certain bacteria that attack the respiratory system of animals and humans.

Essentially, the warning asks hunters to get their deer tested. A deer can look healthy and still have bovine TB. Here are a few signs hunters may observe when field dressing a deer:

  • Lymph nodes in the animal’s head usually show infection first
  • As the disease progresses, lesions may begin to develop on the surface of the lungs and chest cavity
  • In severely infected deer, lesions can sometimes be found throughout the animal’s entire body
  • Deer with severe TB may have tan or yellow lumps lining the chest wall and in the lung tissue

Deer showing this type of infection should be submitted to the DNR for laboratory testing. For more information on bovine tuberculosis, visit www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases.

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