Michigan tries vaccine to protect deer from disease

The oral vaccine is intended to protect deer from bovine tuberculosis

Researchers in Michigan are exploring whether an oral vaccine could protect wild deer from disease.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan State University and USDA-Wildlife Services are working to combat bovine tuberculosis. Bovine tuberculosis, or bTB, spreads through nose-to-nose contact or through shared feed and water, and it can easily spread between cattle and deer.

Wildlife Services employees are deploying vaccine delivery units in fields where white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are known to gather. Later, the deer will be harvested and tested.

“We are hopeful this pilot can lead to an effective tool to further reduce the presence of bTB in Michigan,” Mitch Marcus, DNR Wildlife Health Section supervisor, told ClickOnDetroit.

Read more from ClickOnDetroit.

Header Image: Deer in parts of Michigan are susceptible to bovine tuberculosis. Credit: David Marvin