As of Nov. 20, Michigan is at less than 50% of its deer TB
testing quota required in a USDA/MDARD agreement. Failure to meet the testing
quota could prompt USDA to reevaluate Michigan’s TB status, leading to
additional testing requirements statewide of the state’s beef and dairy herds.
Deer hunters in a dozen northern Lower
Peninsula counties are urged to turn in the heads of harvested deer to an MDNR
check station or drop box for bovine tuberculosis testing this hunting season.
If testing quotas aren’t met by year’s end, the USDA could reevaluate the
entire state’s TB status, imperiling Michigan’s beef and dairy farmers.
“The new memorandum of understanding between
USDA and Michigan requires a significant number of deer heads to be turned in
for TB testing in the Modified Accredited Zone and surrounding counties,” said
Ernie Birchmeier, MFB’s dairy and livestock specialist. “It is imperative that
we all collaborate to achieve those goals.
“Failure to meet the requirements could cause
USDA to reevaluate the TB status of the entire state of Michigan. Lowering the
state’s status could lead to additional testing requirements statewide, which
would be a significant challenge for our beef and dairy farmers.”
While more than 2,000 animals across the
Northeastern region of the state had been tested as of Nov. 20 (current numbers
are available online), it's significantly under the
MOU testing requirements.
Per the MOU, signed this past February, MDNR
is required to conduct active surveillance for bovine TB in free-ranging
white-tailed deer. Michigan’s Modified Accredited Zone (MAZ), which includes
Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda counties, is required to test 2,800 deer
As of Nov. 20, only 1,220 deer — just 43.6% of
the number required — had been tested collectively in the MAZ.
New annual testing quotas are also required
for the seven counties surrounding the MAZ including 500 free-ranging deer in
Presque Isle County, and 300 each in Cheboygan, Crawford, Iosco, Ogemaw, Otsego
and Roscommon for a combined total of 2,300 deer.
Thus far only 798 deer had been tested in
those counties — less than 35% of the number required in the USDA/MDARD agreement.
“It’s imperative we hit those testing quota
numbers,” Birchmeier said. “Harvesting a large number of deer and getting the
heads tested for TB can help reduce the overall population in areas that have a
significant number of deer and we can help to prove to USDA that we are
containing the disease and working to eliminate it.”
“Sixty percent of deer that test positive show
no signs of the disease, so testing is important,” said Emily Sewell, DNR
wildlife health specialist. “It’s important that hunters take precautions like
wearing latex or rubber gloves when field dressing. If they notice any lesions
on the lungs or in the chest cavity, they should avoid cutting into the lesions
and bring the deer to a check station.”
Check station and drop box locations are
listed below and online at Michigan.gov/DeerCheck.
For more information visit Michigan.gov/BovineTB or contact Sewell or Birchmeier directly.
DNR Drop Box Locations
Alanson — Oden Hatchery Visitor Center; 24-hour
drop box; 3377 Oden Road, Alanson; 989-732-3541 ext. 5031
Alpena Field Office — check station, 24-hour
drop box; 4343 M-32 West, Alpena; 989-785-4251 ext. 5233
Atlanta Field Office — check Station, 24-hour
drop box; 13501 M-33, Atlanta; 989-785-4251 ext. 5233
Cheboygan Field Office — 24-hour drop box120 A
Street, Cheboygan; 989-732-3541 ext. 5031
Curran BP Gas Station — check station; M-65
& M-72, Curran; 989-348-6371 ext. 7477
Tawas State Harbor
Dock — check station; 113 Newman St., Hwy. US-23, East Tawas; 989-275-5151 ext.
Gaylord Customer Service Center — check station,
24-hour drop box; 1732 West M-32, Gaylord; 989-732-3541
Grayling Field Office — check station, 24-hour
drop box; 1955 Hartwick Pines Road, Grayling; 989-348-6371 ext. 7477
Hale — Alward’s Market, 118 S. Washington
St., Hale; 989-728-2315
Hillman BP Gas Station — 24-hour drop box; 27400
M-32 West, Hillman; 989-785-4251 ext. 5233
River Field Office —
24-hour drop box; 6984 Wilson Road, Indian River; 989-732-3541 ext. 5031
Lincoln Field Office — check station; 408 Main
Street, Lincoln; 989-736-8336
Lupton — Rifle River Recreation Area; check
station; 2550 E. Rose City Road, Lupton; 989-473-2258
Mio DNR Field Office — check station, 24-hour
drop box; 191 S. Mt. Tom Road, Mio; 989-275-5151 ext. 2722030
Onaway Check Station — Tom’s IGA, 20597 State
St., Onaway; 989-785-4251 ext. 5233
Posen Check Station — behind Huron Oil Co.,
10941 Michigan Ave., Posen; 989-785-4251 ext. 5233
City — Adrian’s Sport
Shop; 24-hour drop box; 335 N. Bradley Hwy., Rogers City,
989-785-4251 ext. 5233
Roscommon Customer Service Center — check station,
24-hour drop box; 8717 N. Roscommon Road, Roscommon; 989-275-5151 ext. 2722039
Branch Field Office —
check station; 410 N. Fairview Road, West Branch; 989-345-0472