Here’s why if you see white spots in a deer’s ribcage, you should never, ever eat the meat

The Michigan Department of Natural Resource has issued a warning for all hunters to keep an eye out for signs of bovine tuberculosis in deer.

The disease is caused by a certain type of bacteria that attacks the respiratory system in animals, but can also be extremely dangerous to humans. The authorities are warning hunters to be on the watch for white spots in a deer’s ribcage that could indicate the animals is infected …


There are several types of tuberculosis, but bovine tuberculosis (bTB) infects the widest variety of animals. Now, wildlife managers are seeking to eradicate the disease from white-tailed deer in Michigan.

As per DNR state wildlife veterinarian Kelly Straka, Michigan is the only state in the US with bTB established in white-tailed deer.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Bovine TB is transferred most commonly through coughing, sneezing and exchanging saliva – this, of course, occurs when animals are in close proximity to one another.

Food tainted by infected saliva can also spread the disease, and is the primary method of cattle and deer infecting one another.

What to look out for

It should go without saying that hunters – and indeed anyone who is likely to come into contact with deer ribs and the like – need to be careful.

As per the picture below, it’s important to analyze a deer’s ribcage, where white pustule-like spots will be present if it’s infected with bTB.

HUNTERS BEWARE: If you see bubbles and white spots in a deer's ribcage DO NOT EAT IT! It’s bovine tuberculosis. Deer…

Posted by NBC25 News on Tuesday, 9 October 2018

For seasoned hunters and outdoor experts, this might seem like common knowledge to you, but it’s still important to both raise awareness and spread the information on to others who might know about it.

Help us by sharing this article on Facebook. You never know, it could well save somebody from contracting TB!