An elk from a breeding farm in Burnett County has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), according to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The remaining five elk in the herd have been quarantined. No animals may move in or out of the property. The movement of carcasses is also restricted. Officials said no elk have left the farm since the herd was formed in 2014.
The animal that tested positive was a 6-year-old male that was euthanized due to an injury and showed no symptoms of CWD. The owner of the farm will continue to test all elk that die to monitor if the disease has spread to other animals in the herd, according to the department.
CWD is a fatal neurological disease of deer, elk and moose. Tests for the disease can only be performed after the animal's death. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources began monitoring the state's wild white-tailed deer for CWD in 1999. The first positives were found in deer harvested in November of 2001. A map of CWD-affected counties is available on the DNR's website.