IN.gov - Skip Navigation

Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.

Indiana State Board of Animal Health

BOAH > Species Information > Cattle, Sheep & Ruminants > Cattle, Dairy & Beef > Bovine Tuberculosis > White-tailed Deer TB Survey White-tailed Deer TB Survey

Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious, contagious disease caused by several strains of related bacteria. Of the three main types (human, avian and bovine) bovine (or cattle-type) is the most infectious, infecting most warm-blooded animals, including humans, livestock and wildlife. Indiana has been recognized as bovine tuberculosis-free in domestic animals since 1983.

Cattle-type TB has historically been very rare in wild white-tailed or mule deer. However, recent findings in white-tailed deer in northeastern Michigan have prompted the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) and Department of Natural Resources to launch a passive surveillance project locally. You can help with this effort to protect Indiana's domestic and wild animal populations by helping to verify Hoosier deer continue to be disease-free.

The photos that follow show some of the clinical indications of what could be tuberculosis. NOTE: These clinical signs could indicate other health problems, such as pneumonia or a secondary infection related to a wound. The only way to confirm the cause of the lesions is through consultation with a trained veterinarian and/or laboratory testing.

If you see any lesions, consult a veterinarian by calling Indiana State Board of Animal Health (toll-free) at:
877/747-3038 ext.358
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For inquiries on weekends and/or holidays, refrigerate the carcass,
then call the next business day.

For more information on this program, contact Indiana State Board of Animal Health at 877/747-3038 or by email at animalhealth@boah.in.gov.







Information for Hunters

In the unlikely event you see lesions (white or red blister-like sores) on the internal organs or carcass of a deer, exercise caution in handling the animal. Do not proceed with further processing until the carcass is examined by a State Board of Animal Health veterinarian. By calling the toll-free number listed below, a veterinarian will advise you, free-of-charge, on the appropriate use of the animal, and possibly collect tissue samples for further testing. By reporting any suspicious lesion, you are helping the Department of Natural Resources protect the health status of Indiana's white-tailed deer resource.

If you see any lesions, refrigerate (or ice down) the carcass if possible. Keep the animal, including the head, intact until examined. If you submit your deer for further testing, DNR will replace your permanent/temporary deer tag to allow revalidation of your existing license.

Situations that arise on weekends/holidays and are not considered emergencies - call BOAH on the next regular business day.

If you see any lesions, consult a veterinarian by calling Indiana State Board of Animal Health (toll-free) at:
877/747-3038 ext.358
Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to midnight, seven days per week
(including holidays) during the deer firearms season.

Out of firearms season, office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For inquiries on weekends and/or holidays, refrigerate the carcass, then call the next business day.

Information for Processing Plants

Indiana state meat inspection laws do not apply to hunted white-tailed deer. However, as processors, you can assist the State Board of Animal Health in identifying any potentially infected animals. If you see any lesions in the course of processing deer meat, contact BOAH's Meat & Poultry Division or your area field veterinarian for advice and possible collection of samples for testing.

If you see any lesions, consult a veterinarian by calling Indiana State Board of Animal Health (toll-free) at:
877/747-3038 ext.358
Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to midnight, seven days per week
(including holidays) during the deer firearms season.

Out of firearms season, office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For inquiries on weekends and/or holidays, refrigerate the carcass, then call the next business day.