Town hall meeting on CWD Aug. 27 in Meridian Township

DNR to talk about CWD surveillance and management efforts, how hunters can help.
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Press Release

Aug. 21, 2015

Contact: Chad Stewart, 517-282-4810

Town hall meeting Aug. 27 in Meridian Township to discuss CWD efforts – DNR needs help from hunters

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will hold a town hall meeting Aug. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Township Hall room of the Meridian Township Municipal Building located at 5151 Marsh Road in Okemos, Michigan, to present information on chronic wasting disease (CWD) and the DNR’s surveillance and management efforts.

This past May, the DNR announced that a free-ranging deer in Meridian Township had tested positive for CWD. Since that time, two additional deer in that area also have tested positive for the disease.

At the meeting, speakers Dr. Steve Schmitt, DNR wildlife veterinarian, and Chad Stewart, DNR deer specialist, will provide information on the disease, its impacts on deer and deer populations, and how the DNR has responded to the discovery of the disease thus far. There will be plenty of time for questions.

“We are excited to talk to area hunters and other concerned citizens about the disease, itself, and how they can help be part of the solution,” said Stewart. “We need to have hunters out in the area harvesting deer so we can assess the prevalence and geographic distribution of the disease.”

Meridian Township staff members also will be in attendance to answer questions related to the township’s local deer hunt. Township staff and local police have been instrumental in assisting the DNR with this situation.

“Meridian Township will continue to work with the DNR and support its efforts in combating CWD in the township," said Deborah Guthrie, Meridian Township communications director and executive producer for HOMTV. We hope to reach more residents and educate the public on this issue by televising the DNR’s town hall meeting on HOMTV.”

The DNR hopes many hunters and concerned citizens will attend the meeting. Staff members will be available to answer any questions related to hunting in the area – from mandatory deer check to how to process deer.

For those who cannot attend, the meeting will be televised live on HOMTV, Meridian Township’s government access channel. Cable subscribers can view the meeting by turning to Comcast Cable channel 21. Non-cable subscribers or those who live outside the viewing area will have the opportunity to view the meeting through a live video stream on HOMTV’s website at  

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. It is caused by the transmission of infectious, self-multiplying proteins (prions) contained in saliva and other body fluids of infected animals. Susceptible animals can acquire CWD by direct exposure to these fluids, or from environments contaminated with the fluids, or the carcass of a diseased animal.

To date, there is no evidence that chronic wasting disease presents any risk to non-cervids, including humans, either through contact with an infected animal or from handling venison. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend that infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals. Within seven to 10 days of submitting a deer head for testing, hunters will be able to find out the test results for their deer.

To learn more about CWD, visit

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to

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