CWD regulations in Colorado

Due to the regular amending of regulations in Colorado, it is recommended that before hunting you check these CWD regulations, as well as those of any other states or provinces in which you will be hunting or traveling through while transporting cervid carcasses. The contact information for Colorado can be seen below:

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Testing Laboratories in Colorado

Colorado State University Diagnostic Laboratory
300 W. Drake St. Ft.Collins, CO 80523
970-491-1281 or 970-491-6143

Locations Where CWD Was Found

Counties (Accurate as of 2/2016)

1. Boulder 2. Douglas 3. Eagle 4. El Paso 5. Grand 6. Jackson 7. Jefferson 8. Larimer 9. Logan 10. Mesa 11. Moffatt 12. Morgan 13. Phillips 14. Pueblo 15. Rio Blanco 16. Routt 17. Sedgwick 18. Summit 19. Weld 20. Yuma


3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 36, 37, 38, 51, 59, 84, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 102, 109, 161, 171, 181, 191, 211, 214, 231, 301, 391, 421, 441, 461, 521, 591, 951.

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Category Archives: Colorado

CO /WY – Long-Term Research Shows Domestic Cattle Resist Oral Exposure to Chronic Wasting Disease

May 23, 2018

Cattle fed extremely high oral doses of chronic wasting disease (CWD)-infected brain material or kept in heavily prion-contaminated facilities for 10 years showed no neurological signs of the disease.

The University of Wyoming’s Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory (WSVL), the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) collaborated in the $1.5 million study. Results will be published in the July issue of the Journal of Wildlife Diseases. Details of the study are available at

As part of the experiment, 41 calves were randomly distributed to WGFD pens in Sybille Canyon in Wyoming, Colorado Division of Wildlife pens in Fort Collins, the WSVL and 18 to the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa.

“It was an elegant experiment in many ways,” says Hank Edwards, WGFD wildlife disease specialist. “You were taking cattle and housing them with heavily infected CWD elk and facilities. If CWD was going to jump the species barrier, it was likely you would see something in these cattle that had laid out in the pens for 10 years. That’s a big deal.”

The late Beth Williams, a veterinary sciences professor at UW, initiated the study. Authors of the article continued the research after she and husband, Tom Thorne, were killed in a motor vehicle crash in December 2004. Thorne had served as acting director of the WGFD and also had conducted CWD research.

Authors of the article are Donal O’Toole, a professor in the UW Department of Veterinary Sciences, which operates the WSVL; Michael Miller, a veterinary epidemiologist with the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife; Terry Kreeger, a wildlife veterinarian with the WGFD; and Jean Jewell, a molecular biologist with the WSVL. Williams is listed as lead author.

CWD is a contagious neurological disease affecting cervids: mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. An abnormal form of cellular protein, called a prion, in the central nervous system infects an animal by converting normal cellular protein into the abnormal form. Brains show a spongy degeneration, with animals displaying abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and emaciation. The disease is fatal. It is among a group of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE). TSE in cattle also is known as mad cow disease.

The long timespan of the research is important, as CWD is a slow disease, says Mary Wood, state WGFD veterinarian.

Even in deer or elk, animals can take years to succumb to the disease, she says. If the disease were to move into a different species, such as cattle, the timeline could be even longer for infection to occur.

“Many people are used to diseases moving quickly, but CWD doesn’t do that,” Wood says. “Nothing happens quickly, which is what makes this disease so insidious. It creeps up on you. It’s subtle. By the time you realize there is a problem, the disease is so widespread and established, it’s difficult to try to address.”

Some cattle can get a form of TSE when CWD material is injected directly into their brains, particularly when it is of white-tailed or mule deer origin, O’Toole says.

He says a more important question is one Williams and collaborators asked, as it involved a more natural challenge.

“What happens in cattle when you use a more real-life scenario involving oral exposure?” O’Toole says. “Plus, we used high oral doses and heavily contaminated environments. Cattle coming out of endemic CWD areas and slaughtered for human consumption are likely to pose no risk to people, based on the 10-year study and several earlier surveillance studies.”

That should be good news to livestock producers, Wood says.

“Managing disease in animals can be incredibly challenging,” she says. “It is even more challenging when the disease infects wildlife and is shared between wildlife and livestock.”

Wyoming cattle share the range with CWD-infected cervids, with CWD seen across almost the entire state, Edwards says.

“This research indicated CWD doesn’t easily transmit to cattle. Cattle do not get the disease due to a big species barrier, which helps restrict the disease to cervids,” he says.

Some Wyoming deer populations have 20-30 percent infection rates.

“We have few tools in the toolbox to manage the disease,” Edwards says. “We are trying different management efforts to hold the prevalence level, if not reduce the spread. That’s the big thing coming up next for CWD. How do we control it in our wildlife populations?”

End of article.
Article can be found here:

Elk Meat Recalled in Colo.; Wasting Disease Found

LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) Consumers are being warned not to eat some elk meat sold at a recent farmers’ market in Longmont.

State and Boulder County health officers issued a recall Wednesday for elk meat sold Dec. 13 at a farmers’ market at the Boulder County Fairgrounds.

The meat comes from an elk found to have chronic wasting disease from a ranch in northern Colorado. Though the disease is thought to be harmless to humans, health officials still warn against eating meat from infected animals.

Colorado epidemiologist John Pape said the meat was tested when the elk were slaughtered, but the results weren’t known until after the meat was sold.

The disease has been traced to one elk. The meat packaging shows a USDA triangle containing the number 34645.

The affected cuts are chuck roast, arm roast, flat iron, ribeye steak, New York steak, tenderloin, sirloin tip roast, medallions and ground meat.

Pape said the infected elk came from a ranch in northern Colorado and was purchased by the High Wire Ranch in Hotchkiss, which had the animal slaughtered.

Pape originally said animals at the High Wire Ranch had been quarantined, but later clarified that the quarantine was in effect at the ranch from which the High Wire bought the infected animal. He did not release the name of that ranch.

The High Wire was simply ”middle-manning” the animal and ”did everything right,” Pape said.

High Wire owner Dave Whittlesey added that the infected animal was one of 15 he purchased, and the others were disease-free.

”These animals were never on my ranch,” Whittlesey said. ”They went directly to slaughter from their ranch of origin.”

The disease has been present in the wild for decades in northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming. It spread through some of the state’s elk ranches in 2001 after an operation with some infected animals shipped elk around the state.

Thousands of captive elk were slaughtered in Colorado to prevent spread of the disease.

In 2002, The disease was also found in the wild and deer and elk farms in Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, and Canada.

13 Elk Caught in Park Test Positive for Disease

The first results of a new, live-animal test for chronic wasting disease found that 13 of 117 captured elk in Rocky Mountain National Park were positive.

The results mark the initial fruits of an unprecedented research and population-control project in the park. It was designed, in part, to evaluate the use of a live test for the fatal disease on wild, free-ranging elk. A live test has been in use for deer.

The rate of infection – 11 percent – appears high for elk. Typical disease rates in the wild have hovered closer to 1 percent or 2 percent.

A National Park Service statement said researchers weren’t surprised, however, because the park’s herd is larger, less migratory and more concentrated than it would be under natural conditions, with hunting and predators to scatter the animals. Such confined conditions make the spread of CWD more likely.

“Research has also shown that elk densities on the core winter range (in the park) are the highest concentrations ever documented for a free-ranging population in the Rocky Mountains,” the park service said.

A total of 136 elk were captured from January through mid-March from herds in Moraine Park and Beaver Meadows on the park’s east side. Of those, 117 yielded usable tissue for CWD testing. At the time of capture, none of the animals exhibited symptoms of the illness.

The CWD testing is part of a broader effort, also designed to reduce elk numbers in the park and test a new birth-control drug for the animals.

The elk population, unchecked by hunters and wolves, has grown too large for the park to support, ecologists say, leading to overgrazing on willows and aspen, and damaging habitat for other plants and animals.

Elk testing positive for CWD will be among up to 200 a year killed in the park as part of the effort to reduce population to a target herd size of 1,600 to 2,100. Just how many elk are culled per year will depend on annual population surveys and hunter success.

Additional Moose in North Central Colorado Test Positive for Chronic Wasting Disease

The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) has confirmed that two legally harvested bull moose from northern Colorado have tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). A moose killed in game management unit (GMU) 7, a few miles southeast of Glendevey, was the second CWD-positive moose diagnosed in Colorado in 2006. This moose was harvested and submitted for testing in October 2006. This unit is northeast of the unit where Colorado’s first positive moose was harvested last year. Another moose harvested from GMU 6 in October also tested positive; this unit is within the same population unit as last year’s case. CWD is a fatal neurological disease that has been diagnosed in wild deer and elk in ten states and two Canadian provinces. Animals show no apparent signs of illness throughout much of disease course. In terminal stages of CWD, animals typically are emaciated and display abnormal behavior. CWD was diagnosed in testing completed by the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic lab. CWD testing for moose was made mandatory in Colorado in 2003 to aid Division biologists in monitoring this species for evidence of CWD. Since 2002, 528 moose have been tested, resulting in three positives to date. CWD has been found in portions of northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming for more than two decades. State and federal health officials have found no connection between CWD and any human illness. As a precaution, however, hunters are advised not to eat meat from diseased animals.

Hunters who submit infected animals for testing are contacted and given the choice of having their license fee refunded or receiving a replacement license for the same game management unit. They also receive a refund for the cost of reasonable processing.

Hunters may submit animals for testing at DOW offices around the state and at the offices of some veterinarians. For a complete list of submission sites and for more information about testing and chronic wasting disease, visit the DOW Web site at

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is the state agency responsible for managing wildlife and its habitat, as well as providing wildlife related recreation. The Division is funded through hunting and fishing license fees, federal grants and Colorado Lottery proceeds through Great Outdoors Colorado.

DOW Opens CWD Drop Off Sites in Burlington Area

The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) is offering Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) tests for all deer brought to a check station that will be set up on Oct. 30, and Nov. 6 at the Burlington Livestock Exchange parking lot at 46277 U.S. Hwy. 24 at the west end of Burlington. Times for the check station are from 7 a.m until 4 p.m. There will be no fee for CWD testing of animals dropped out at this location on the above dates. The normal charge for CWD testing service provided by the DOW is $15 per animal. Hunters in eastern Colorado also have the opportunity to drop off heads during the week at the Burlington Locker, located at 553 14th St. in Burlington. Hunters should bring the heads along with the blue CWD head tag included on the lower panels of their deer licenses. Also needed are the Game Management Unit (GMU) number and a location of the kill. There will be no charge for these animals. Tests generally take 7-10 days to complete and hunters will be notified by phone if an animal tests positive. Results can also be obtained from the Colorado Division of Wildlife website at Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological disease found in deer, elk and moose. It belongs to a family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases. The disease attacks the brains of infected deer, elk and moose, causing the animals to become emaciated, display abnormal behavior and incoordination, and eventually die. Hunters are advised against harvesting any deer or elk that appears unhealthy or is acting abnormally. For more information contact Tom Seamans at (719) 349-1246.

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