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Cause of NE Alabama Deer Death Confirmed

White-tailed deer
White-tailed deer

The Alabama Department of Agriculture says the deaths of more than 50 whitetail deer at a breeding facility in northeast Alabama has been linked to a virus.

Department officials say they worked with a U.S. Department of Agriculture lab to determine that the deer had malignant catarrhal fever, which is also known as ovine herpesvirus-2. They say domesticated sheep housed in a pen adjacent to the deer initially had the virus that spread to the deer. The sheep didn't show any symptoms.

Agriculture officials said Wednesday that the virus poses no threat to humans, pets or domesticated livestock.

The deaths began at the deer breeding facility near Boaz in May.

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