Yearly Archives: 2014

Wildlife Commission Reports CWD Not Detected in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (July 8, 2014) — Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a transmissible and fatal neurological disease of deer and elk, was not detected in a recent statewide survey conducted by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

Humans are not known to contract CWD. No treatment or cure for CWD exists. Direct, animal-to-animal contact is a means of transmission, but evidence suggests that contaminated environments and equipment also present risks.

“CWD proves devastating to populations of cervids — the family of mammals that includes white-tailed deer, elk, mule deer and moose,” said Dr. Maria Palamar, wildlife veterinarian for the Commission. “The indications of this survey are welcome news.”

The diagnostic laboratory report was from a sampling of more than 3,800 free-ranging deer and elk beginning in 2013 and continuing through earlier this year. Biologists collected brain stem tissue and retropharyngeal lymph nodes from the animals.

“It was a successful and widespread effort to obtain samples,” Palamar said. “Much thanks goes to agency field staff in all divisions, certainly, but we have to especially thank all the deer hunters and processors who provided samples. We exceeded our sample goals. The survey also provided excellent CWD educational opportunities.”

CWD has been confirmed in neighboring states, with West Virginia reporting a case in 2005, followed by Virginia in 2010 and Maryland in 2011. Preventive measures are in place to reduce the risk of transmission in North Carolina, with stringent regulations governing anyone who holds captive cervids and regulations for hunters returning with hide, meat or trophies of cervids taken out of state.

For more information on CWD, go online or call the Division of Wildlife Management at 919-707-0050.

CWD positive states are Virginia, North Dakota, Missouri, Michigan, New York, West Virginia, Utah, Illinois, Oklahoma, Minnesota, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Kansas, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, Iowa and Pennsylvania. Also, Canada’s Alberta and Saskatchewan provinces have reported CWD cases.

Chronic Wasting Disease Not Found in Ohio Deer

CWD not found for 12th consecutive year

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) announced that testing of Ohio’s deer herd found no evidence of chronic wasting disease (CWD), which is a degenerative brain disease that affects elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer.

State and federal agriculture and wildlife officials collected tissue samples from 753 deer killed on Ohio’s roads from September 2013 through March 2014. An additional 88 hunter-harvested mature bucks and nine deer displaying symptoms consistent with CWD were tested as well. According to the ODNR Division of Wildlife, all samples were negative for CWD for the 12th consecutive year. Since CWD was first discovered in the late 1960s in the western United States, there has been no evidence that the disease can be transmitted to humans.

Since 2002, the ODNR Division of Wildlife, in conjunction with the ODA Division of Animal Health and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife and Veterinary Services, has conducted surveillance throughout the state for CWD. While CWD has never been found in Ohio’s deer herd, it had been diagnosed in wild and captive deer, moose or elk elsewhere in the United States and Canada.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife continues to carefully monitor the health of Ohio’s wild deer herd throughout the year. Visit ohioagriculture.gov or wildohio.gov for the latest information on CWD or the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance at cwd-info.org. All CWD testing is performed at the ODA Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.

No Additional Deer Test Positive for Chronic Wasting Disease

A deer shot during the regular gun season in Allamakee County was the lone positive out of more than 4,000 samples collected from 2013/14 looking for the presence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Iowa.

That positive sample from a wild deer was the focus of three public meetings in April, where the DNR engaged Allamakee and Clayton County residents to work together to increase surveillance and the number of deer samples collected in a five mile radius from where the positive deer was harvested.

“This additional surveillance, along with more than 1,100 deer sampled in the past 12 years in this immediate area, will help us to determine if CWD has spread to other deer. If no further cases are found in the next three years, we will go back to routine testing,” said Dr. Dale Garner, chief of Wildlife for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “If additional cases are found, we will work with the public to decide how to proceed.”

Since 2002, the Iowa DNR has sampled nearly 51,000 wild deer and 3,500 captive deer and elk for CWD. A majority of samples came from 11 counties in northeast Iowa, which is the area closest to the CWD endemic areas in Wisconsin and Illinois, and Minnesota’s southeast containment area. The sampling effort also concentrated on three areas surrounding captive facilities that had animals test positive in Iowa in 2012 and the area north of where Missouri’s positive CWD deer have been found.

No additional positive CWD results have been found in wild deer. The DNR is encouraging the public to report all road kill deer, and sick or severely emaciated deer found in the targeted area by calling 563-546-7962 or 563-380-3422.

For more information contact Willie Suchy, Wildlife Research Supervisor, Wildlife Bureau, Iowa DNR, 515-281-8660

Chronic Wasting Disease Detected for First Time in Wild Iowa Deer

DES MOINES – The first case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a wild Iowa deer has been confirmed.

The deer was reported as harvested in Allamakee County during the first shotgun season in early December. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is currently working to obtain as much information as possible about the infected deer to implement its CWD response plan.

“We have been testing for CWD in Iowa’s deer herd for more than a decade and are optimistic, given the extensive data we have collected, that we have caught this early,” said Chuck Gipp, DNR director.

“The next step will be to focus our monitoring efforts in the area where the animal was harvested and work closely with local landowners and hunters to gather more information.” said Gipp.

CWD is a neurological disease affecting primarily deer and elk. It is caused by an abnormal protein, called a prion that attacks the brains of infected animals, causing them to lose weight, display abnormal behavior and lose bodily functions. Signs include excessive salivation, thirst and urination, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, listlessness and drooping ears and head. The only reliable test for CWD requires testing of lymph nodes or brain material.

There is currently no evidence that humans can contract CWD by eating venison. However, the National Institute of Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that hunters do not eat the brain, eyeballs or spinal cord of deer and that hunters wear protective gloves while field dressing game and boning out meat for consumption.

Prior to the positive detection in Iowa, CWD had been detected in every bordering state.

“With CWD in all the states around us, we have understood the possibility of a positive detection in the wild deer herd for some time” said Gipp.

Since 2002, the DNR has collected more than 650 samples of deer from within a five-mile radius of where the deer is believed to have been harvested.

No New Positives Found in 2013-14 Trans Pecos CWD Surveillance

AUSTIN – Nearly 300 tissue samples were collected from hunter harvested deer and elk from the Trans Pecos ecoregion during the 2013-14 season to test for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Over the last two hunting seasons upwards of 600 deer and elk have been tested for CWD, thanks to the cooperation of hunters and landowners who have participated in the state’s hunter check stations.

“Undoubtedly without the hunter check stations, and hunter and landowner participation, we would know very little about the prevalence of the disease or where it exists,” said Mitch Lockwood, Big Game Program Director with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

To date, 617 deer and elk have been tested through the CWD check stations and strategic sampling that occurred during the summer of 2012; 215 were in the Containment Zone, 172 were in the adjacent High Risk Zone, 57 were in the Buffer Zone, and 173 were outside of the CWD zones. Forty five of the samples tested from the Containment Zone were from deer harvested in the Hueco Mountains.

TPWD’s Current CWD Management Zones

“Additional sampling is necessary to develop more confidence in the geographic extent and prevalence of the disease, but the fact that CWD has not been detected in Texas outside of the Hueco Mountains of northern El Paso and Hudspeth counties is encouraging,” said Lockwood.

Including the positives reported from last year’s sampling effort, and the three positives reported by New Mexico Game and Fish in 2012, CWD has been detected in 9 of 49 deer sampled in the Hueco Mountains.

CWD is a member of the group of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Other diseases in this group include scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease) in cattle, and Cruetzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. CWD among cervids is a progressive, fatal disease that commonly results in altered behavior as a result of microscopic changes made to the brain of affected animals. An animal may carry the disease for years without outward indication, but in the latter stages, signs may include listlessness, lowering of the head, weight loss, repetitive walking in set patterns, and a lack of responsiveness. CWD is not known to affect humans or livestock.

There is no vaccine or cure for CWD, but steps have been taken to minimize the risk of the disease spreading from beyond the area where it currently exists. TPWD and Texas Animal Health commissions adopted rules to restrict movement of deer, elk, and other susceptible species within or from the CWD Zones as well increase surveillance efforts.

More information about CWD is available online.