NADeFA Expresses Concern Over TB Discovery

CANTON, Ohio — Bovine tuberculosis has recently been detected in a whitetail deer — a two-year-old doe — in Franklin County, Indiana, and it’s the first time in the state’s history that bovine tuberculosis has been found in a wild animal. The North American Deer Farmers Association (NADeFA) expresses concern over the discovery and urges cooperation among state officials and private land owners to help contain the spread of the disease.

According to NADeFA, TB was found in this area of Indiana in 2009, and involved a beef herd and in a farmed cervid (mixed species) herd located a couple of miles apart. Both herds had the rare 'cervid strain' of TB. NADeFA and the deer farming industry has been extremely proactive in the development of an accurate TB blood test that has been successful in efforts to eliminate TB from the farmed cervid industry.

“Today's announcement of TB in a wild two-year-old whitetail doe brings those fears to reality,” says Shawn Schafer, executive director of NADeFA. “The science with TB is advanced enough that hopefully, the DNA analysis will soon tell us approximately how long the TB has been in that area.”

Bovine tuberculosis is a bacterial disease of cattle that can infect humans other domestic animals and some wildlife. The bacteria Mycobacterium bovis causes the disease. This bacterium is closely related to the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis associated with human tuberculosis. More information on the disease and its potential threat to humans can be found at

Schafer explains that the State of Michigan has been battling TB for decades and while the state has not been able to rid the wild deer herd or the cattle industry of TB, state officials have been very successful in keeping their unique 'Michigan strain' contained within their borders. Minnesota found the 'Southwestern TB strain' in both cattle herds and wild whitetails and with a very concentrated effort looks to have successfully eradicated TB from that area.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed that this population within Indiana can be cleaned up as well, and NADeFA provide any assistance we can to state authorities,” adds Schafer.

Founded in 1983, the North American Deer Farmers Association is dedicated to the promotion of deer farming and ranching as an agricultural pursuit and serves its members through its educational programs and publications and by providing leadership in setting and maintaining quality standards. NADeFA represents the deer farming industry at all levels of government, and works closely with livestock producers and other organizations to promote ethical standards of conduct and husbandry in deer farming and to actively market standards for deer and deer products. NADeFA representatives are also available to media for expert testimony and information about deer farming and animal health issues, such as Chronic Wasting Disease, EHD and other topics.

For more information about NADeFA and membership, call 330.454.3944 or visit

Since 1983, the North American Deer Farmers Association (NADeFA) has worked to establish and promote deer farming as an agricultural pursuit and to facilitate education on breeding, handling and deer farm management. For more information on the North American Deer Farmers Association, call 330.454.3944 or visit