LANSING — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) announced today that chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for the first time. CWD is a fatal nervous system disease that affects deer, moose and elk populations, causing them to become emaciated and confused while wandering aimlessly and unafraid of humans. Although the disease cannot be transmitted to humans, it has disastrous implications for the health of Michigan’s deer herds. In response to the announcement, state Rep. Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette) released the following statement:

“We took many measures to try to prevent this terrible disease from infecting our U.P. herds, but with the first confirmed case, we’re urging all hunters to continue to follow the guidelines put out by the MDNR. Make sure every deer is checked and tested at the designated stations, avoid long-distance movement of deer carcasses, and stay up-to-date on all the latest news and regulations.”

Joining Rep. Cambensy, state Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) added:

“Hunting makes up so much of who we are in the U.P. and it’s sad to see it threatened by the spread of this awful disease. It’s up to all of us hunters to protect that tradition for future generations by making sure that we follow the guidelines set by the MDNR to keep this from spreading further throughout the peninsula. This is an issue I have been focused on since I attended the first meetings held about the threat of CWD in the U.P. I will continue to work with the MDNR and the U.P. CWD Task Force to find ways to limit the impact of this disease and keep our residents educated on this issue.”