Yearly Archives: 2010

VDGIF Recognizes Assistance of Hunters, Reports New CWD Positive in Western Frederick County

RICHMOND, VA- The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) wishes to recognize the excellent cooperation of hunters in sampling for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Frederick and Shenandoah counties this past November. To date, VDGIF has collected samples from more than 500 deer brought to check stations and self-service drop stations or killed on the road.

Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, a new case of CWD was detected less than 2 miles from the first case discovered last year in western Frederick County, Virginia. The 4-point buck was killed by a hunter near the West Virginia line and brought to a check station for sampling on November 20, 2010. It is estimated that the buck was about 1 1/2 years old. Given the proximity of this second case to the first one, changes to the current management actions or restrictions are not anticipated. However, VDGIF is still awaiting final test results from approximately 100 samples, so the need to modify management strategies cannot be determined until after the conclusion of the hunting season and receipt of all sample results in January.

We continue to encourage hunters who are successful during the remainder of the season to volunteer the head and neck from their deer for sampling by bringing it to one of our self-service refrigerated drop stations:

  • Frederick-Winchester Conservation Club, 527 Siler Road, Winchester (north of Gainesboro)
  • Walker’s Cash Store, 3321 Back Road, Woodstock (intersection with St. Luke Road)
  • North Mountain Fire and Rescue, 186 Rosenberger Lane, Winchester (off Rt. 600, behind Tom’s Market).
  • New Star Market, 2936 John Marshal Hwy, Strasburg (one mile west of I-81).

In addition to collecting samples, VDGIF has implemented several other management actions in the northern Shenandoah Valley during the past year in response to the detection of CWD. These management actions include: prohibiting the feeding of deer year-round, prohibiting the movement of deer carcasses and parts out of the Containment Area (with exceptions), restricting the disposal of deer wastes from the Containment Area, prohibiting the rehabilitation of deer in the Containment Area, and changing seasons and bag limits on private lands in an attempt to reduce the deer population.

CWD has been detected in 18 states and two Canadian provinces. CWD is a slow, progressive neurological (brain and nervous system) disease found in deer, elk, and moose in North America. The disease ultimately results in death of the infected animal. Symptoms exhibited by CWD-infected deer include, staggering, abnormal posture, lowered head, drooling, acting confused, and marked weight loss. There is no evidence that CWD can be naturally transmitted to humans, livestock, or pets. More information about CWD and these management actions can be found on the VDGIF website.

Another Deer From 3F2 Tests Positive for CWD

A mule deer taken in November during the deer gun season from unit 3F2 is the second deer in North Dakota to test positive for chronic wasting disease. The first was a mule deer taken during the hunting season in 2009, also from unit 3F2.

Dr. Dan Grove, North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife veterinarian, said a hunter shot a doe in western Grant County and submitted the head for testing as part of the hunter-harvested surveillance program.

“As a collaborative effort with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Game and Fish Department, a total of 633 samples were collected from unit 3F2 this fall, and all but one tested negative for CWD,” Grove said. “Although we hoped the one positive from 2009 was an isolated incident, it was not unexpected that another one surfaced.”

The two deer testing positive for CWD were taken 10 miles from each other, which Grove said is not surprising because of the same general area.

“Hunter cooperation was tremendous,” Grove said. “We can’t thank them enough, and we look forward to their continued support with this important issue in the future.”

The hunter-harvested surveillance program annually collects samples taken from hunter-harvested deer in specific regions of the state. In addition to unit 3F2, samples during the 2010 deer gun season were collected from units in the eastern third of the state. The entire state has already been sampled twice.

“Michigan State University will be testing approximately 3,600 samples over the next several weeks from deer taken in the eastern third of the state,” Grove said. “Those results should be available by spring.”

In addition to hunter-harvested deer, the Game and Fish Department has a targeted surveillance program that is an ongoing, year-round effort that tests animals found dead or sick.

Since the department’s sampling efforts began in 2002, more than 16,000 deer, elk and moose have tested negative for CWD.

CWD affects the nervous system of members of the deer family and is always fatal. Scientists have found no evidence that CWD can be transmitted naturally to humans or livestock.

Study: Mother to Offspring Transmission of Chronic Wasting Disease

Mother to Offspring Transmission of Chronic Wasting Disease Candace K. Mathiason, Amy V. Nalls, Kelly Anderson, Jeanette Hayes-Klug, Nicholas Haley and Edward A. Hoover Colorado State University, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Fort Collins, CO USA Key words: Chronic wasting disease, vertical transmission, muntjac deer We have developed a new cervid model in small Asian muntjac deer (Muntiacus reevesi) to study potential modes of vertical transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD) from mother to offspring. Eight of eight (8/8) muntjac doe orally infected with CWD tested PrPCWD lymphoid positive by 4 months post infection. Six fawns were born to these CWD-infected doe. Six fawns were born to 6 CWD-infected doe; 4 of the fawns were non-viable. The viable fawns have been monitored for CWD infection by immunohistochemistry and sPMCA performed on serial tonsil and rectal lymphoid tissue biopsies. PrPCWD has been detected in one fawn as early as 40 days of age. Moreover, sPMCA performed on rectal lymphoid tissue has yield positive results on another fawn at 10 days of age. In addition, sPMCA assays have also demonstrated amplifiable prions in maternal placental (caruncule) and mammary tissue of the dam. Additional pregnancy related fluids and tissues from the doe as well as tissue from the nonviable fawns are currently being probed for the presence of CWD. In summary, we have employed the muntjac deer model, to demonstrate for the first time the transmission of CWD from mother to offspring. These studies provide the foundation to investigate the mechanisms and pathways of maternal prion transfer. PRION 2010 Meeting Report International Prion Congress: From agent to disease; September 8-11, 2010; Salzburg, Austria Volume 4, Issue 3 July/August/September 2010

CWD Tests Negative for Deer On Northwest Wisconsin Hunting Preserve

MADISON — Final chronic wasting disease results are negative for a white-tailed deer on a northwestern Wisconsin hunting preserve, State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Ehlenfeldt announced today. This means the deer did not have CWD.

The National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, reported the test results late Tuesday. Ehlenfeldt released the quarantine that had been in place since Nov. 4 for the hunting preserve and an associated deer breeding farm.

NVSL pathologists ran tissue samples through what they described as “an exhaustive process using all diagnostic techniques available” and did not detect CWD.

The 3½-year-old buck was routinely tested after being killed by a hunter Oct. 18 in Bayfield County. Initial screening tests at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory were reported positive on Nov. 4. Following standard procedure, WVDL sent the samples to the national laboratory for confirmation. Screening tests for any disease are deliberately over-sensitive, so they do sometimes yield false positives.

DATCP does not name owners or locations of CWD-suspect animals unless final test results are positive. However, the hunting preserve and farm in question has a long record of negative CWD results, with nearly 130 animals tested in the past five years. Animal health regulations in Wisconsin require that all farm-raised deer and elk 16 months and older, including those in hunting preserves, must be tested for CWD when they die or are killed. There is no live test for CWD.

To date, more than 27,600 farm-raised deer have been tested in Wisconsin. Of those, 97 were positive for CWD on eight farms and hunting preserves — 82 on a single Portage County operation, where legal action delayed destruction of the herd for more than three years after the initial case was found. One of the infected animals was an elk, the rest have been white-tailed deer. All infected herds have been destroyed. There has not been a new case of CWD detected in a farm-raised animal for two years.

DNR Asks for Hunters Help on Ashland Area Deer Disease Surveillance

The Department of Natural Resources is asking Ashland and Bayfield county hunters to help with surveillance efforts to see if chronic wasting disease may be present in free-ranging, wild deer the area.

Sampling stations where hunters can bring deer for disease testing will be at the following locations on opening weekend Nov. 20 and 21.

  • Pearce’s Sausage Kitchen – 61327 Dalhstrom Road, Ashland
  • Angler’s All – 2803 Lakeshore Drive. E. Ashland
  • Woody’s Taxidermy – 1109 Vaughn Avenue, Ashland
  • Bayside Taxidermy – 1110 Lakeshore Drive, Ashland
  • Chequamegon Taxidermy – 73740 Strecker Road, Washburn
  • Brian Weber Processing – 29125 State Hwy 137, Ashland
  • Ino Bar – 19020 US Hwy 2, Ino
  • Washburn Holiday Station- 606 W. Bayfield St., Washburn

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) indicated Thursday, Nov. 11, that preliminary-positive test results on a deer removed in October from a game farm southwest of Ashland indicated possible presence of chronic wasting disease. Confirmatory testing of the tissues is underway and must be completed before DATCP officials can make a final determination. DATCP is responsible for the regulation of deer farm operations.

In order to find out if the disease has also made its way into the adjoining wild deer herd, DNR will begin a disease surveillance effort immediately and continue through the nine day deer gun season within a 10 mile radius around the city of Ashland. DNR will send staff to four big game registration stations to collect tissue samples. DNR hopes to gather samples on every adult deer registered. Department staff is also working with local meat processors, taxidermists, and car kill deer contractors to collect samples.

“While we don’t have the final test results at this time (Monday, Nov.15) we feel it’s prudent to do the surveillance based upon the preliminary information,” said Mike Zeckmeister, DNR northern region wildlife supervisor. “The upcoming deer season is really the best opportunity for local hunters to assist in rapidly and efficiently collecting these samples.”

Wisconsin wildlife officials stress that this is the first time captive herd surveillance testing suggests CWD may be present on a farm in northern Wisconsin. Two rounds of testing in wild deer since 2002 have found all wild deer healthy in northern Wisconsin to date.

In October, local conservation wardens completed a fence inspection on the farm as part of a land sale. During this inspection wardens found several breaches in the fence and indications that deer may have moved in and out of the farm.

“Wardens are continuing to inspect the fence and work with the farmer to ensure that the fence meets DNR specifications,” said Dave Zebro, DNR Northern Region conservation warden supervisor.

“The possibility that free ranging deer may have been exposed to the disease is why we feel additional local disease surveillance is very important. We’re counting on help from the hunters to get the needed samples” Zeckmeister said.

The World Health Organization stresses that there is no known link between CWD in deer and the human version of this prion disease, however, people should no eat any deer that tests positive for CWD, appears sick or is acting strangely. Officials request that people report all such deer to a DNR biologist or warden.

Hunters supplying deer tissue samples for testing will be able to track test results for their deer on the department’s website: Test results will take three to four weeks to be posted.