LANSING, Mich. — An advisory panel is calling for stepped-up efforts to prevent the spread of a deadly disease among Michigan deer.

The Chronic Wasting Disease Working Group recently presented a set of recommendations to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, a policymaking group whose members are appointed by the governor.

The commission assembled experts from around the U.S. to review the latest science and management developments on the disease.

Among the proposals were engaging an outside marketing agency to develop messaging; partnering with other states to share research; and taking a closer look at privately owned deer ranches.

Fifty-seven deer in six Lower Peninsula counties have tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

The illness attacks the brain of infected animals. It’s transmitted through direct animal-to-animal contact, or by contact with their bodily fluids.

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