Last fall, brain and lymph node tissue samples from hunter and USDA APHIS Wildlife Services harvested white-tailed deer in Delaware were submitted to the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing. 644 samples were collected in Delaware, at least 200 from each county. Final test results just received showed all the samples to be negative for the disease.

According to Ken Reynolds, Wildlife Research Program Manager with the Division of Fish and Wildlife, “600 samples gave us a 99% probability of detecting the disease if it existed in 1% or more of the deer population. While this doesn’t provide 100% assurance of no disease, we are encouraged by these results.”

Hunter’s should be aware that more news regarding CWD will likely be available in the near future. In the event a deer does test positive for CWD in Delaware, or a surrounding state (Maryland or Pennsylvania), the Division is in the process of formulating a CWD Response/Recovery Plan so that action can be taken immediately. As a result of the formulation of the Response Plan, several regulations may be created in an attempt to keep Delaware free of CWD.