Marshall Co. farm recovering from deer die-off - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Marshall Co. farm recovering from deer die-off

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More than 50 adult deer were killed by a virus that was passed from sheep kept near the herd. (Source: WAFF file) More than 50 adult deer were killed by a virus that was passed from sheep kept near the herd. (Source: WAFF file)
MARSHALL COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

A Marshall County deer farm is recovering after an attack by an unusual virus that killed more than 50 adult deer and dozens of fawns, both alive and unborn.

Wednesday, state and federal agriculture officials said a virus commonly called Malignant Catarrhal Fever caused the die-off, which started in May.

The farm's owner said he didn't think much about finding a single dead deer at that time, but then he began losing several each week. He took four bodies to Auburn, where they discovered the presence of MCF, otherwise known as ovine herpesvirus-2.

The breeder said they learned the virus is passed only from sheep to deer and is very deadly. His instructions were to remove the sheep from the farm; doing so would quickly start to reverse the problem.

The virus cannot be passed between deer or from deer to humans.

Farm personnel said there is still about of incubation time which could affect still more deer. They are continuing to monitor the situation, although it's been several days since any deer have died.

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