LANSING, Mich. --The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is warning hunters to be on the lookout for bovine tuberculosis in deer.
This is what an infected deer's rib cage will look like:
Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious disease caused by certain bacteria that attack the respiratory system of animals and humans.
There are several types of tuberculosis, but bovine tuberculosis (bTB) can infect the widest variety of animals and is what wildlife managers have been trying to eradicate from white-tailed deer in Michigan.
According to DNR state wildlife veterinarian Kelly Straka who was quoted in a news release from the state, Michigan is the only state in the nation that has bTB established in wild deer.
Bovine TB is spread primarily through coughing and sneezing and exchanging saliva, and can happen when animals are in close contact with one another.
Food contaminated by saliva from an infected animal can spread the disease too, and is the primary way that cattle and deer can infect one another.
It was reportedly found in 10 counties in 2017.
Those counties include:
The DNR is urging hunters to submit heads for testing from all deer harvested in the following counties:
The testing is offered free of charge.
A list of DNR deer check stations is available here.