Yearly Archives: 2018

WI – CWD detection in a wild deer in Eau Claire County will result in a renewal of the baiting and feeding ban

Contact(s): Bill Hogseth, wildlife biologist for Eau Claire and Chippewa counties, 715-839-3771

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has confirmed that a wild deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease in western Eau Claire County, near the town of Brunswick.

As required by law, this finding will renew Eau Claire County’s existing three-year baiting and feeding ban, effective May 1, 2018. Because this new CWD-positive result is located within 10 miles of Buffalo, Chippewa, Dunn, Pepin and Trempealeau counties, these counties will now be designated as CWD-affected counties. Additionally, two-year baiting and feeding bans for these five counties will be enacted on May 1.

The department collected a two-year-old doe in response to a sick deer call from a landowner and submitted samples for testing. This CWD positive animal is the first confirmed wild deer to test positive for the disease in Eau Claire County.

“While this latest detection is disheartening and is certainly cause for concern in Eau Claire and the surrounding counties, it demonstrates the importance of local involvement in our monitoring efforts,” said DNR Secretary Dan Meyer. “Receiving the sick deer call from this concerned landowner allowed us to apply our sick deer response protocol and respond quickly to investigate a potential new CWD detection.

In response to the detection of this new CWD positive deer, the department will take the following steps to respond::

Convene a meeting with the local County Deer Advisory Council members from the 6 counties impacted by this detection to decide on future management actions specific to this detection.
Establish a 10-mile radius disease surveillance area around this positive location
Conduct surveillance activities to assess disease distribution and prevalence including:
Encourage reporting of sick deer
Sample vehicle-killed adult deer
Sample adult deer harvested under agricultural damage permits
Sample adult deer harvested under urban deer hunts in the area
Establish additional CWD sampling locations prior to the 2018 deer seasons
These actions are very important for assessing the potential geographic distribution of the disease and if other animals in proximity to the new positive test are infected.

As has been demonstrated in the past in other parts of the state, local citizen involvement in the decision-making process as well as management actions to address this CWD detection will have the greatest potential for success.

For more information regarding baiting and feeding regulations and CWD in Wisconsin, and how to have adult deer tested during the 2018/2019 hunting seasons, visit the department’s website,, and search “bait and feeding” and “CWD sampling” respectively. To report a sick deer on the landscape, search keywords “sick deer” or contact a local wildlife biologist.

Last Revised: Wednesday, April 18, 2018



News from the region

Apr 06, 2018

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports 33 new cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) have been found following the testing of 24,486 free-ranging Missouri deer through its 2017-2018 sampling and testing efforts. The new cases were from the following counties:

  • Adair: 3
  • Cedar: 1
  • Franklin: 4
  • Jefferson: 1
  • Linn: 7
  • Macon: 3
  • Perry: 1
  • Polk: 3
  • St. Clair: 4
  • Ste. Genevieve: 6

Of the 33 new cases, 16 were from hunter-harvested deer, one was from a road-killed deer, and 16 were from MDC’s post-season targeted culling efforts in the immediate areas around where previous cases have been found.

This year’s findings bring the total number of free-ranging deer in Missouri confirmed to have CWD to 75. For more information, visit under “CWD in Missouri.”

“For a third year in a row, we found no CWD-positive deer in central Missouri, where a single case was confirmed in early 2015,” said MDC Wildlife Disease Coordinator Jasmine Batten. “Additionally, we found no cases of CWD on the Missouri-Arkansas border, despite the high level of CWD in northwest Arkansas.”

Batten added that where CWD has been found in Missouri, the numbers of positives remain relatively low.

“It is encouraging that cases of CWD are still pretty low overall, and MDC remains committed to monitoring the disease and taking actions to limit its spread,” she said. “We encourage hunters and landowners to continue participating in our CWD monitoring and management efforts.”

Batten added that these efforts are vital in limiting the spread of the disease.

“If we do nothing, areas affected by CWD will increase in size and many more deer will become infected by the disease,” she explained. “Over time, this would lead to significant long-term population declines.”


MDC will again require mandatory sampling of deer harvested during the opening weekend of the fall firearms deer season, Nov. 10 and 11, in and around counties where the disease has been recently found. MDC will again also offer voluntary CWD sampling during the entire fall and winter hunting season of deer harvested in and around counties where the disease has been recently found.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend hunters in areas known to have CWD test their deer before consuming the meat.

More information on specific counties, sampling locations, and requirements will be published in MDC’s “2018 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information” booklet, and online at, starting in July.


After the close of deer season, MDC staff work with landowners on a voluntary basis to cull additional deer within an area of 1 to 5 miles of where recent cases of CWD have been found. Collecting additional samples helps MDC scientists better understand how many deer in the area may be infected and where they are in the area. Targeted culling also helps limit the spread of CWD by removing potentially infected deer from an area.

“Targeted culling has proven to be very useful in finding cases of CWD and in reducing the spread of the disease by removing additional CWD-infected animals,” explained Batten. “We found about half of the new CWD cases this year through targeted culling. Without targeted culling, those 16 infected deer would have continued to spread the disease.”

She added that targeted culling is the only tested method of slowing the growth of CWD in a local deer population.

“The state of Illinois has been successful in stabilizing levels of CWD through the use of a sustained targeted culling program over many years,” Batten said. “In contrast, states such as Wisconsin that have not used targeted culling, or that have only implemented targeted culling for a short period of time, have seen levels of CWD climb steadily.”

Of the more than 101,000 deer MDC has tested for CWD since 2001, about 4,500 have been harvested through targeted culling, including 1,485 from the past season.

“This accounts for about 4% of all CWD samples collected so far, but has resulted in finding about 49% of CWD cases in Missouri,” Batten explained.

Learn more about targeted culling through this video:

For more information on CWD, visit

USGS CWD Update 120

CWD Update 120
March 29, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) released the following notice on March 28, 2018 (

APHIS Revises Chronic Wasting Disease Program Standards

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is revising its Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Program Standards to better meet the needs of both animal health officials and the cervid industry. To ensure consistent terminology, APHIS is aligning the language in the program standards with the Code of Federal Regulations.

CWD is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), a progressive and fatal brain disease that can affect cervids, including deer, elk and moose. The CWD Herd Certification Program (HCP) provides a national approach to control CWD in farmed cervids. The program is a cooperative effort between APHIS, State animal health and wildlife agencies, and farmed cervid owners. APHIS coordinates with State agencies to encourage cervid owners to certify their herds and comply with the CWD Herd Certification Program Standards to prevent the introduction and spread of CWD.
The revisions cover a variety of topics including: adding guidelines for live animal testing in specific situations, clarifying how disease investigations should be handled, aligning with the Code of Federal Regulations’ requirement for mortality testing, simplifying fencing requirements, adding biosecurity recommendations, and describing our intended approach to update the CWD-susceptible species list. APHIS also outlines factors for determining indemnity and includes a table that outlines possible reductions in herd certification status that States may consider for herd owners that do not submit required mortality surveillance samples or consistently submit unusable testing samples.
The revisions are based on input from internal and external stakeholders, including scientific experts on CWD and TSEs from the United States and Canada, a working group of State and Federal animal health and wildlife officials and representatives from the farmed cervid industry. These stakeholders reviewed the program standards, identified sections for revision, and provided options for those revisions.

APHIS issued a summary of the working group’s discussions and recommended changes to the CWD Program Standards at the 2016 United States Animal Health Association meeting. The summary was available for public comment and 35 written comments were received.
This notice is on display in the Federal Register at Members of the public will be able to view the evaluation and submit comments beginning tomorrow at!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2018-0011. The revised program standards will take effect after the 30-day comment period ends, unless members of the public raise significant regulatory issues during the comment period.
APHIS will accept comments until April 30. Comments may be submitted through the following methods:
• Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2018-0011.
• Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2018-0011, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.
• Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2018-0011 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

International Updates


The following release was issued by the Norwegian Veterinary Institute on March 15, 2018 (

Milestone reached in CWD management in Norway

Recently, the Norwegian Veterinary Institute detected Chronic wasting disease (CWD) in one of the last remaining reindeer in the area of Nordfjella, Zone 1. This was the 18th case of CWD in wild reindeer in Norway, and might also be the last now that nearly all wild reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) in this region have been culled.
Following the first detection of CWD in wild reindeer in 2016 in Norway, extensive testing of cervids from all over the country was initiated. Simultaneously, it was decided that the entire population of wild reindeer in Nordfjella, in which CWD had been detected, should be culled. This has now been accomplished – two months ahead of schedule. The culling of the Nordfjella reindeer may signify the eradication of classical contagious CWD from Norway, although it is too early to conclude. Sampling and testing of cervids will continue for many years to reveal possible spread of the disease to other regions.

Right premises for culling of the Nordfjella reindeer

The initial premises for the decision to cull have agreed with reality. Prior to the culling of the reindeer in Nordfjella last autumn, researchers from NINA, UiO and the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, in cooperation with local management, had estimated the population to comprise of 2150 animals (+/-200). So far, before a last search for any remaining animals has been performed, 2027 animals have been culled.
Based on knowledge regarding the age composition of the flock, and presuming that the two first CWD-positive animals taken out in regular hunting during 2016 represent a random selection, researches have estimated the flock prevalence of CWD to lie around 1% (with a margin of error).
– The premises for culling have turned out to match reality. A higher flock prevalence and an extended culling period would have reduced the likelihood of achieving the final goal, which is to secure a healthy population of wild reindeer in Nordfjella, and healthy cervids elsewhere in the country, says CWD-coordinator Jørn Våge at the Norwegian veterinary Institute.
He emphasizes that the project has not been based on removing diseased animals only, but is about eradicating infection and preventing further spread of CWD, which is a serious and deadly disease for cervids.
A lot remains before the eradication plan can be deemed a success. Screening in other regions, like Hardangervidda, will continue for many years and Nordfjella zone 1 must lie fallow without reindeer for at least five years due to the risk of environmental sources of infection.
– It is encouraging that this phase of the eradication process is nearing completion earlier than anticipated. A huge and impressive job has been done by all parties involved, particularly by hunters from the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate and laboratory personnel at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, says Våge.

Two types of CWD

In addition to the 18 confirmed cases of classical CWD in Nordfjella, CWD has also been detected in three moose (Alces alces) and a red deer (Cervus elaphus) elsewhere in Norway. These four cases differ from the Nordfjella-cases. All four animals were old individuals with an atypical form of the disease that is believed to occur sporadically and to arise spontaneously.
Recently, CWD was detected in a moose in Finland, with similar findings to those in the three Norwegian moose.
– The case in Finland was not unexpected following the intensified CWD testing in Europe in 2018. We have no reason to believe that there is any connection between the case in Finland and the occurrence of CWD in Nordfjella, says senior researcher Sylvie Benestad at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute.
The Norwegian Veterinary Institute regularly performs testing of cervids from all over Norway. So far, samples from more than 39 000 animals have been analyzed in what has been the largest surveillance program since the BSE-scare was at its peak.
CWD research at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute currently encompasses studies on disease progression and pathogenesis, diagnostics, epidemiology and genetics.

Recent Publications

Chronic wasting disease influences activity and behavior in white‐tailed deer

David R. Edmunds, Shannon E. Albeke, Ronald G. Grogan, Frederick G. Lindzey, David E. Legg, Walter E. Cook, Brant A. Schumaker, Terry J. Kreeger, Todd E. Cornish
The Journal of Wildlife Management 82(1):138–154; 2018; DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.21341


Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an infectious and fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of members of the family Cervidae. Although CWD has been a serious concern among wildlife managers in several states in the United States and 2 Canadian provinces for over a decade, it is not known how CWD affects movement of hosts during the preclinical and clinical phases of disease. We hypothesized that normal movement patterns are altered by CWD. We evaluated migratory status, migration corridors, dispersal behavior, hourly activity patterns, home range areas, and resource selection for white‐tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) of known CWD status as a means of understanding how CWD infection influenced habitat use and disease spread. We captured deer, tested for CWD by tonsil biopsy, marked deer with radio‐transmitters (2003–2010) or global positioning system collars (2006–2010), and recaptured individuals annually for CWD testing. The proportion of CWD‐positive females that migrated was significantly less than CWD‐positive males. All deer that were CWD‐negative were more active than their CWD‐positive cohabitants, which was most pronounced in fall for males when CWD‐positive deer were significantly less active throughout the day. Home range areas were small ( = 1.99 km2) and were larger for CWD‐negative females than CWD‐positive females. Resource selection analyses indicated that all deer, regardless of CWD status, sex, or migratory status selected riparian habitats. Riparian habitats represent high CWD risk areas that should be targeted for potential disease management actions (e.g., surveillance, culling, environmental treatments).

Pathogen-mediated selection in free-ranging elk populations infected by chronic wasting disease

Ryan J. Monello, Nathan L. Galloway, Jenny G. Powers, Sally A. Madsen-Bouterse, William H. Edwards, Mary E. Wood, Katherine I. O’Rourke and Margaret A. Wild
PNAS November 14, 2017. 114 (46) 12208-12212; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1707807114


Pathogens can exert a large influence on the evolution of hosts via selection for alleles or genotypes that moderate pathogen virulence. Inconsistent interactions between parasites and the host genome, such as those resulting from genetic linkages and environmental stochasticity, have largely prevented observation of this process in wildlife species. We examined the prion protein gene (PRNP) in North American elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) populations that have been infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD), a contagious, fatal prion disease, and compared allele frequency to populations with no history of exposure to CWD. The PRNP in elk is highly conserved and a single polymorphism at codon 132 can markedly extend CWD latency when the minor leucine allele (132L) is present. We determined population exposure to CWD, genotyped 1,018 elk from five populations, and developed a hierarchical Bayesian model to examine the relationship between CWD prevalence and PRNP 132L allele frequency. Populations infected with CWD for at least 30–50 y exhibited 132L allele frequencies that were on average twice as great (range = 0.23–0.29) as those from uninfected populations (range = 0.04–0.17). Despite numerous differences between the elk populations in this study, the consistency of increase in 132L allele frequency suggests pathogen-mediated selection has occurred due to CWD. Although prior modeling work predicted that selection will continue, the potential for fitness costs of the 132L allele or new prion protein strains to arise suggest that it is prudent to assume balancing selection may prevent fixation of the 132L allele in populations with CWD.

Current evidence on the transmissibility of chronic wasting disease prions to humans – A systematic review

L. Waddell, J. Greig, M. Mascarenhas, A. Otten, T. Corrin, K. Hierlihy
Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. 2018. Volume 65, Issue 1, pp. 37-49; DOI: 10.1111/tbed.12612


A number of prion diseases affect humans, including Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease; most of these are due to genetic mutations in the affected individual and occur sporadically, but some result from transmission of prion proteins from external sources. Of the known animal prion diseases, only bovine spongiform encephalopathy prions have been shown to be transmissible from animals to humans under non‐experimental conditions. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease that affects cervids (e.g., deer and elk) in North America and isolated populations in Korea and Europe. Systematic review methodology was used to identify, select, critically appraise and analyse data from relevant research. Studies were evaluated for adherence to good conduct based on their study design following the Cochrane collaboration’s approach to grading the quality of evidence and the strength of recommendations (GRADE). Twenty‐three studies were included after screening 800 citations from the literature search and evaluating 78 full papers. Studies examined the transmissibility of CWD prions to humans using epidemiological study design, in vitro and in vivo experiments. Five epidemiological studies, two studies on macaques and seven studies on humanized transgenic mice provided no evidence to support the possibility of transmission of CWD prions to humans. Ongoing surveillance in the United States and Canada has not documented CWD transmission to humans. However, two studies on squirrel monkeys provided evidence that transmission of CWD prions resulting in prion disease ispossible in these monkeys under experimental conditions and seven in vitro experiments provided evidence that CWD prions can convert human prion protein to a misfolded state. Therefore, future discovery of CWD transmission to humans cannot be entirely ruled out on the basis of current studies, particularly in the light of possible decades‐long incubation periods for CWD prions in humans. It would be prudent to continue CWD research and epidemiologic surveillance, exercise caution when handling potentially contaminated material and explore CWD management opportunities.

PDF is located here: CWD Update 120 from USGS

MD – Ten Deer Test Positive for Chronic Wasting Disease

February 21, 2018
Samples Found Within Existing Management Area
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has received laboratory confirmation that 10 white-tailed deer sampled in Allegany and Washington counties tested positive for chronic wasting disease, a neurological disease found in deer and elk.
All of the positive samples came from within the existing Chronic Wasting Disease Management Area.
Six of the positive samples collected in 2017 were harvested by hunters during the statewide deer season and three came from road-killed deer collected during routine sampling. One positive sample came from a sick deer that had been reported by a concerned citizen and collected by staff.
“While chronic wasting disease continues to spread, both regionally and nationally, it still only affects a small percentage of deer in western Maryland,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “In the interest of managing the deer resource for all Marylanders, department staff will continue to work diligently to document and monitor the presence of the disease.”
The department has sampled for chronic wasting disease since 2002, and more than 9,600 deer have been tested to date. A total of 749 Maryland deer were tested during the 2017-2018 season, mostly from Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties.
Chronic wasting disease was first confirmed in Maryland in February 2011. The Maryland cases appear to be from an outbreak that was found in nearby West Virginia in 2005. Since then, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia have all documented chronic wasting disease in the region. The latest findings bring the number of positive cases in Maryland to 27.
Concerns about chronic wasting disease should not stop anyone from hunting deer or enjoying venison. Research suggests the disease cannot be naturally transmitted to humans. However, as a general safety precaution it is recommended that hunters avoid consuming the meat of sick animals as well as the brain, lymph nodes or spinal column of any deer — all of which are normally removed during the butchering process.

Full article can be found here: Ten Deer Test Positive for Chronic Wasting Disease

TX – Parks and Wildlife Commission Expands CWD Containment Zone in Panhandle

Action Taken in Response to Disease Discovery in Roadkill Whitetail Deer

AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved expansion of the state’s chronic wasting disease (CWD) Panhandle Containment Zone following the discovery of the disease earlier this year in a roadkill white-tailed deer.

The Containment Zone 2 now encompasses that portion of the state within the boundaries of a line beginning where I.H. 40 enters from the State of New Mexico in Deaf Smith County; thence east along I.H. 40 to U.S. 385 in Oldham County; thence north along U.S. 385 to Hartley in Hartley County; thence east along U.S. 87 to County Rd. 47; thence north along C.R. 47 to F.M. 281; thence west along F.M. 281 to U.S. 385; thence north along U.S. 385 to the Oklahoma state line.

“The decision to expand slightly the Panhandle Containment Zone is a direct result of the test positive roadkill discovery,” said Dr. Bob Dittmar, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) wildlife veterinarian. “The state’s wildlife disease management response focuses on an early detection and containment strategy designed to limit the spread of CWD from the affected area and better understand the distribution and prevalence of the disease.”

The test positive roadkill was among 10,104 deer, elk and other susceptible exotic game animal samples collected from a variety of sources by TPWD personnel for CWD testing during the 2017-18 collection year. In all, TPWD collected 2,203 samples from roadkills, with the rest obtained through mandatory and voluntary hunter harvest submissions.

For the 2017-18 collection season, TPWD surpassed its statewide goal of 6,735 CWD samples. Sampling objectives were established by TPWD wildlife biologists based on deer densities within each of the 41 Deer Management Units in Texas and other factors to establish sufficient confidence of detection if CWD were present within those localized populations.

Since 2012 when the state first discovered the disease among mule deer in a remote mountain area along the New Mexico border, Texas has recorded 100 confirmed cases of CWD. Of those, 64 were discovered in captive deer breeding pens, 11 were hunter harvested on breeder deer release sites, and 2 were elk from a breeder release site. Of the remaining positives, 20 were free-ranging mule deer, 1 was a free-ranging elk and 2 were free-ranging white-tailed deer.

Details about each CWD detection in Texas are available on TPWD’s web site.


Contact: TPWD News, [email protected], 512-389-8030

Article location can be found here Parks and Wildlife Commission Expands CWD Containment Zone in Panhandle.