Carcass Transportation Regulations in the United States and Canada

cwd_mapDownload the full Chronic Wasting Disease and Cervidae Regulations in North America. [PDF]

Download a quick reference map of Rules Governing Interstate Transport of High-risk White-tailed Deer Carcass Parts [PDF].

The number one objective in the management of CWD is to prevent its spread into new areas. One theoretical mode of disease transmission is via infected carcasses. Therefore, in an effort to minimize the risk of disease spread, a number of states have adopted regulations affecting the transportation of hunter-harvested deer and elk.

Since the suspected infective agent (prion) is concentrated in the brain, spinal cord and lymph glands, the most common regulation is the prohibition of the importation of whole carcasses harvested from CWD areas. Some states, like Colorado, also have established regulations addressing the transport of deer and elk out of CWD areas. Generally, states that have adopted carcass transportation regulations do not allow the importation of any brain or spinal column tissue and allow transport of only the following:

  • Meat that is cut and wrapped (either commercially or privately).
  • Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.
  • Meat that has been boned out.
  • Hides with no heads attached.
  • Clean (no meat or tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached.
  • Antlers with no meat or tissue attached.
  • Upper canine teeth, also known as "buglers," "whistlers," or "ivories."
  • Finished taxidermy.

A summary of state-by-state carcass transportation regulations is provided in Column J of the regulations on each state page (accessible from the home page) or on the map. Since these regulations are continually evolving, it is recommended that before hunting you check the CWD regulations in your home state, the state in which you will be hunting and states in which you will travel through en route home from your hunting area. Most state wildlife agencies provide regulations information on their websites, and may be accessed via the clickable map on the home page.

The Carcass Transport and Disposal Working Group of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) Fish and Wildlife Health Committee developed the following guidelines for regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to carcass transport and disposal. The intent of the working group is to encourage states to adopt policies that minimize risk; do not hinder hunting, wild cervid population management, or disease control; are easily understood; and promote compliance because they are consistent and well-justified. The recommendations are based on current knowledge of CWD and may be updated when new information becomes available. The Working Group recognizes state wildlife management agencies will tailor their approach to fit individual concerns and situations, and asks that agency directors, through AFWA, give serious and urgent consideration to this matter so that this potential risk of CWD spread can be minimized.

Transport and Disposal of Hunter-killed Cervid Carcasses: Recommendations to Wildlife Agencies to Reduce Chronic Wasting Disease Risks [PDF]

US Legislation

---April 6, 2004---
Senate Hearing on S1366 - Chronic Wasting Disease Financial Assistance Act of 2003

Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water
April 6, 2004

CWD Alliances’ Testimony PDF document
Other Testimony

---January 9, 2004---
S 2007 - BSE and Other Prion Disease Prevention and Public Health Protection Act

To provide better protection against bovine spongiform encephalopathy and other prion diseases.
S 2007 PDF document
S 2007 Word document

---June 19, 2003---
Congressional Hearing on HR 2057

U.S. House of Representatives
House Resources Committee
Subcommittees on Forests and Forest Health, and
Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans
Thursday, June 19, 2003

Testimony

---June 9, 2003---
HR 2431 - Chronic Wasting Disease Task Force Establishment Act of 2003 (Introduced in House)

To establish a National Chronic Wasting Disease Task Force, and for other purposes.
HR2431 Word document

---June 9, 2003---
HR 2430 - Chronic Wasting Disease Research, Monitoring, and Education Enhancement Act of 2003 (Introduced in House)

To amend the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act to coordinate and strengthen scientific research and monitoring, and to promote public outreach, education, and awareness, of Chronic Wasting Disease affecting free-ranging populations of deer and elk, and for other purposes.
HR2430 Word document

---June 9, 2003---
S 1366 - Chronic Wasting Disease Financial Assistance Act of 2003 (Introduced in Senate)

To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to make grants to State and tribal governments to assist State and tribal efforts to manage and control the spread of chronic wasting disease in deer and elk herds, and for other purposes.
S1366 PDF document | Word document

---June 9, 2003---
HR 2636 - Chronic Wasting Disease Financial Assistance Act of 2003 (Introduced in House)

To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to make grants to State and tribal governments to assist State and tribal efforts to manage and control the spread of chronic wasting disease in deer and elk herds, and for other purposes.
HR2636 PDF document | Word document

---May 9, 2003---
S 1036 - Chronic Wasting Disease Support Act of 2003

Introduce in the Senate May 9, 2003 by Senator Allard (CO)
S1036 Word document
S1036 PDF document

---May 9, 2003---
HR 2057 - Chronic Wasting Disease Support for States Act of 2003

Introduced in the House of Representatives May 9, 2003 by Rep. McInnis (CO)
HR2057 Word document
HR2057 PDF document

---April 18, 2003---
FY 2004 Budget - Conservation Organizations Request Congressional Support for CWD

24 organizations sign letter requesting funding for National CWD Plan- April 18, 2003
Letter Word document

---May 16, 2002---
Congressional Hearing on Chronic Wasting Disease

U.S. House of Representatives
House Resources Committee
Subcommittees on Forests and Forest Health, and
Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans
May 16, 2002
CWD Alliances’ Testimony PDF document | Word document

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Category Archives: National News

APHIS Extends Comment Period for Proposed Changes to the Chronic Wasting Disease Herd Certification Program Standards

USDA

Last Modified: Apr 26, 2018
 

Summary:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is extending the comment period for the revised Chronic Wasting Disease Program Standards. On March 29, 2018, APHIS announced revised standards that provide guidance on how to meet program and interstate movement requirements.  The revised standards addressed concerns of State and industry participants.  The comment period has been extended for an additional 30 days – to May 30, 2018 – to allow the public additional time to prepare and submit comments. 

The docket is available to review and submit comments here:  https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=APHIS_FRDOC_0001-2186 

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

CWD Update

U.S. Congress

Representative Ron Kind (WI) introduced H.R.4454 – Chronic Wasting Disease Management Act on November 21, 2017. Details, including bill text, can be found at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/4454.

Senator Jon Tester (MT) introduced S.2252 – Chronic Wasting Disease Support for States Act on December 19, 2017. Details, including bill text, can be found at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2252.

State and Provincial Updates

Pennsylvania

The following press release was issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) on February 15, 2018 (http://www.media.pa.gov/pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=662):

Wisconsin Deer from Now-Quarantined Lancaster County Farm Tests Positive for Chronic Wasting Disease

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture today announced that a deer harvested from a Wisconsin hunting preserve subsequently tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The deer originated from a Lancaster County farm that is now under quarantine. DNA testing confirmed on February 13, 2018, that the deer was born and raised on the West Cocalico Township, Lancaster County, breeding farm. A two-and-a-half-year-old buck from the same farm tested positive for CWD earlier this month. Neither deer showed signs of the disease prior to its death. The farm has been quarantined since December 15, 2017, when Wisconsin’s state veterinarian notified the department of the potential traceback. DNA testing was run to confirm the deer’s identity in the absence of official identification tags for the deer. The department, along with the United States Department of Agriculture, is currently evaluating the farm in cooperation with the herd owner to establish a Herd Management Plan to mitigate the threat of this disease spreading. The plan, which all three parties sign, may include indemnification of the herd by the USDA or a continuous quarantine with mandatory testing. A quarantine would be extended five years every time a positive is detected. CWD attacks the brain of infected deer, elk and moose, producing small lesions that eventually result in death. Animals can get the disease through direct contact with saliva, feces and urine from an infected animal or contaminated environment. 2

Clinical signs include weight loss, excessive salivation, increased drinking and urination, and abnormal behavior like stumbling, trembling, and depression. Infected deer and elk may also allow unusually close approach by humans or natural predators. The disease is fatal and there is no known treatment or vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report no strong evidence that humans or livestock can contract CWD. The infectious agent, known as a prion, tends to concentrate in the brain, spinal column, eyes, spleen, and lymph nodes. These high-risk parts must be properly handled and disposed of at the harvest location to prevent disease spread. Low-risk parts such as deboned meat, clean skull caps and capes present little risk and may be taken home. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture coordinates a mandatory surveillance program for the disease for 860 breeding farms, hobby farms and hunting preserves across the state. Since 1998, accredited veterinarians and certified CWD technicians have tested 27,000 captive deer in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Game Commission collects samples from hunter-harvested deer and elk and wild deer that appear sick or behave abnormally. Find more information about Pennsylvania’s captive deer CWD programs and the department’s broader efforts to safeguard animal health at agriculture.pa.gov.

The following press release was issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) on February 12, 2018 (http://www.media.pa.gov/pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=659):

Deer on Bedford County Hunting Preserve, Lancaster County Breeding Farm Test Positive for Chronic Wasting Disease

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture today announced that two additional captive deer have tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania, bringing the total to 46 since the disease was discovered in Pennsylvania in 2012. The disease was confirmed in one white-tailed deer on a hunting preserve in Bedford County, and one at a Lancaster County breeding operation. Both deer were born and raised on their respective premises, and these are the first CWD-positives discovered on either farm. Both operations are now under quarantine. This is the first CWD-positive test result in a Lancaster County captive deer.

“The Department of Agriculture takes the emergence and spread of CWD in Whitetail Deer in Pennsylvania very seriously,” said State Veterinarian Dr. David Wolfgang. “Farmers with captive deer and other CWD-susceptible species must participate in one of two programs and follow specific procedures outlined for their program. The department is committed to cooperating with deer farmers, the Game Commission, and foresters to keep deer populations in Pennsylvania healthy and at viable population levels.” 3

The department’s Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory in Harrisburg tested the deer, which were later confirmed positive at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa. The deer were tested as required by the department’s CWD program. Deer cannot be moved on or off these properties without permission from the department. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report no strong evidence that humans or livestock can contract CWD. CWD attacks the brain of infected deer, elk and moose, producing small lesions that eventually result in death. Animals can get the disease through direct contact with saliva, feces and urine from an infected animal or contaminated environment. Clinical signs include weight loss, excessive salivation, increased drinking and urination, and abnormal behavior like stumbling, trembling, and depression. Infected deer and elk may also allow unusually close approach by humans or natural predators. The disease is fatal and there is no known treatment or vaccine. The infectious agent, known as a prion, tends to concentrate in the brain, spinal column, eyes, spleen, and lymph nodes. These high-risk parts must be properly handled and disposed of at the harvest location to prevent disease spread. Low-risk parts such as deboned meat, clean skull caps and capes present little risk and may be taken home. The first cases of CWD in Pennsylvania were detected in white-tailed deer that died in 2012 on an Adams County deer farm, and wild, white-tailed deer in Blair and Bedford Counties. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture coordinates a mandatory surveillance program for the disease for 860 breeding farms, hobby farms and hunting preserves across the state. Since 1998, accredited veterinarians and certified CWD technicians have tested 27,000 captive deer in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Game Commission collects samples from hunter-harvested deer and elk and wild deer that appear sick or behave abnormally. Find more information about Pennsylvania’s captive deer CWD programs, and the department’s broader efforts to safeguard animal health at agriculture.pa.gov.

Mississippi

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) issued the following press release on February 9, 2018 (http://www.mdwfp.com/media/news/wildlife-hunting/chronic-wasting-disease-confirmed-in-a-mississippi-white-tailed-deer/):

Chronic Wasting Disease Confirmed in a Mississippi White-tailed Deer

JACKSON – A white-tailed deer collected on January 25, 2018, in Issaquena County has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The deer was a 4.5-year-old male that died of natural causes and was reported to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. 4

This is the first time an animal in Mississippi has tested positive for the disease, which is fatal to white-tailed deer. MDWFP will immediately implement the CWD Response Plan under the auspices of the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

Pursuant to the Order of the Executive Director on behalf of the Commission, effectively immediately, supplemental feeding is banned in the following counties: Claiborne, Hinds, Issaquena, Sharkey, Warren, and Yazoo.

CWD was first documented among captive mule deer in Colorado in 1967, and has been confirmed in 24 states, three Canadian provinces, and two foreign countries. It has been found in the free-ranging herds in 22 states and among captive cervids in 16 states.

According to the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance, CWD affects only cervids (hoofed animals in the cervidae family such as deer, elk, and moose). CWD affects the body’s nervous system. Once in the host’s body, prions transform normal cellular protein into an abnormal shape that accumulates until the cell ceases to function. Infected animals begin to lose weight, lose their appetite, and develop an insatiable thirst. They tend to stay away from herds, walk in patterns, carry their head low, salivate, and grind their teeth.

For more information regarding CWD in Mississippi, visit our website at www.mdwfp.com or call us at (601) 432-2199.

Nebraska

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) issued the following press release on February 5, 2018 (http://magazine.outdoornebraska.gov/2018/02/sampling-deer-results-203-positives-cwd/):

Sampling of deer results in 203 positives for CWD

LINCOLN, Neb. – The presence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer has been detected for the first time in the southwestern Nebraska counties of Chase, Dundy, Hayes, Frontier and Franklin, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

The Commission conducted a CWD sampling operation in its Northwest and Southwest District deer check stations during the 2017 November firearm deer season.

There were 203 positives from 1,807 deer sampled primarily in the Frenchman, Platte, Republican, Pine Ridge, Upper Platte and Plains management units. Both whitetails and mule deer were sampled.

The goal of this sampling effort is to assess the spread and prevalence of the disease through periodic testing in each region of the state, which in turn helps biologists predict when and if future effects on deer numbers may occur. Testing will take place in regional locations of the state in the next several years. 5

Although present in Colorado and Wyoming for several decades, CWD was first discovered in Nebraska in 2000 in Kimball County. Since 1997, Commission staff have tested nearly 51,000 deer and found 499 that tested positive. CWD has been found in 40 Nebraska counties, but no population declines attributable to the disease have yet occurred.

CWD is prion disease that attacks the brain of an infected deer and elk, eventually causing emaciation, listlessness, excessive salivation and death. It is generally thought that CWD is transmitted from animal to animal through exchange of body fluids, but other modes of transmission may exist.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no person is known to have contracted CWD; however, hunters should cautiously handle and process deer and avoid consuming animals that test positive or look sick. Livestock and other animals not in the deer family also do not appear susceptible to CWD.

Hunters can help prevent the spread of CWD by using proper carcass disposal methods. CWD prions, the infectious proteins that transmit the disease, can remain viable for months or even years in the soil. Hunters should field dress animals at the place of kill, avoid spreading spinal cord or brain tissue to meat, and to dispose of the head (brain), spinal column and other bones at a licensed landfill.

Learn more about CWD at OutdoorNebraska.gov/cwd/.

Wisconsin

The following press release was issued by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on January 22, 2018 (http://dnr.wi.gov/news/releases/article/?id=4424):

First CWD detection in Lincoln County will result in baiting and feeding ban in Lincoln and Langlade Counties

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has received confirmation that a wild deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease in northeast Lincoln County, south of Rhinelander.

As required by law, this finding will establish baiting and feeding bans for Lincoln and Langlade counties effective Feb. 1, 2018. The ban for Lincoln County will be enacted for three years. Langlade County is within 10 miles of the Lincoln County positive wild deer, and due to being adjacent to a county with a CWD positive test result, a two-year ban will be enacted. Oneida county is already under baiting and feeding bans and those bans will be renewed with this newest detection.

The two-year-old buck harvested in northeast Lincoln County is the first confirmed positive deer in this county. 6

“This latest discovery is troublesome and is something we take very seriously,” said DNR Secretary Dan Meyer. “We will start a dialogue with the local community through the County Deer Advisory Council on what steps should be taken next. While there is no silver bullet remedy to eradicate CWD, we have learned from experience that having the local community involved is a key factor in managing this disease.”

The DNR will also take the following steps:

 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 a very important next step in further understanding the potential geographic distribution of the disease and if other animals are infected within Wisconsin’s deer herd in the area.

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, dnr.wi.gov, and search “bait and feeding” and “CWD sampling” respectively.

The following press release was issued by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on January 16, 2018 (http://dnr.wi.gov/news/Weekly/?id=623#art6):

Baiting and feeding ban to begin for Milwaukee County after first positive CWD detection

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has received confirmation that a wild deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease in the West Allis metropolitan area of Milwaukee County.

As required by law, this finding will establish a baiting and feeding ban for Milwaukee County effective Feb. 1, 2018. Milwaukee County is already classified as a CWD-affected county due to being adjacent to a county with a detection; however, because of this finding, a new three-year baiting and feeding ban will go into effect.

A 4-year-old buck displaying clinical symptoms of CWD was tested from an urban setting in West Allis. It is the first confirmed positive in Milwaukee County. To determine if the disease is present in other wild deer in the area, the DNR will conduct disease surveillance within a 10-mile radius around the positive location. Milwaukee metro sub-unit deer hunters are encouraged to submit adult deer harvested for CWD sampling during the remainder of the metro sub-unit season. 7

For more information regarding baiting and feeding regulations and CWD in Wisconsin, and how to have adult deer testing during the remainder of the metro sub-unit season, visit the department’s website, dnr.wi.gov, and search keywords “bait” and “CWD sampling” respectively.

Ohio

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) issued the following press release on January 12, 2018 (http://www.agri.ohio.gov/public_docs/news/2018/1.12.18%20CWD%20Captive%20Positive_FINAL.pdf):

Chronic Wasting Disease Confirmed in Ohio Captive Deer

No cases found in wild deer population; active steps taken to control further spread

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (Jan. 12, 2018) – The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) confirmed a positive case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a captive deer. The state is taking quarantine action to control the further spread of the disease and there is no evidence that CWD has affected the wild deer population in the state.

The positive sample was taken from a single buck on a hunting preserve in Guernsey County and tested as part of Ohio’s CWD monitoring program for captive white-tailed deer operations. The animal was transferred from a captive breeding facility in Holmes County just days before it was harvested. Both the hunting preserve and the breeding farm are under quarantine and are subject to intensive monitoring and sampling protocols. The quarantine will remain enforced until the state is satisfied that disease transference can no longer occur between captive operations.

“While the confirmed case is unfortunate, this proves the necessity of testing and monitoring the health of captive deer populations in Ohio in order to monitor the health of the animals and to manage exposure to diseases,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey. “ODA will work with our state partners and continue to take whatever steps necessary in order to manage CWD and prevent exposure to Ohio’s wild deer population.”

ODA regulates Ohio’s captive white-tailed deer facilities and monitors the health of animals through regular testing of deer at both farms and hunting preserves. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife conducts regular surveillance throughout Ohio to monitor the health of the state’s wild deer population. Acting in an abundance of caution, increased surveillance of wild deer will occur around the quarantined facilities associated with the recent CWD positive test. Again, no CWD has ever been confirmed in Ohio’s wild deer population.

CWD is deadly in deer, elk and moose, but there is no evidence CWD can be transmitted to humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Though no human disease has been associated with CWD, the CDC recommends, as a precaution, that people or other animals do not eat any part of an animal diagnosed with or showing signs of CWD. It is transmitted by direct animal-to- animal contact through saliva, feces and urine. Signs of the 8

disease include weight loss, excessive salivation, increased drinking and urination, and abnormal behavior like stumbling and trembling.

Infected deer and elk may also allow unusually close approach by humans or natural predators. The disease is fatal in deer and there is no known treatment or vaccine.

Texas

The following press release was issued by the Texas Parks and Wildlife department (TPWD) on January 10, 2018 (https://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20180110a):

Panhandle Roadkill White-tailed Deer Tests Positive for Chronic Wasting Disease

AUSTIN – A roadkill white-tailed deer collected by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department personnel on U.S. Highway 87 between Dalhart and Hartley has tested positive for chronic wasting disease. This marks the first discovery of CWD in a Texas roadkill and the first case in a Texas Panhandle whitetail.

“The roadkill was found along the border between the current CWD Containment Zone and Surveillance Zone, and as a result will likely necessitate a precautionary expansion of the Containment Zone,” said Dr. Bob Dittmar, State Wildlife Veterinarian with TPWD. “We do not believe there’s a need to expand the Surveillance Zone at this time.”

TPWD staff will present a proposal detailing the expansion of the Containment Zone during the TPW Commission’s Jan. 24 public hearing. The proposed expansion of the Containment Zone will not result in any new requirements for hunters or landowners unless they are engaged in a permitted activity such as moving live deer.

The disease was first detected in the Panhandle in 2015 when a mule deer buck tested positive during routine CWD surveillance.

Additional information about CWD is available on the TPWD web site http://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/diseases/cwd/ .

Arkansas

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission issued the following press release on January 9, 2018 (https://www.agfc.com/en/news/2018/01/09/cwd-confirmed-in-three-nw-arkansas-counties/):

CWD confirmed in three NW Arkansas counties

LITTLE ROCK – Chronic wasting disease, detected in Arkansas almost two years ago, has been found in three more counties. Four white-tailed deer in Benton, Washington and Sebastian counties recently tested positive for the deadly disease, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. 9

The deer in Benton County were a 2½-year-old doe near Decatur and a 5½-year-old doe near Springtown. The Sebastian County deer was an adult buck near Lavaca, and the one from Washington County was a 1½-year-old buck near Prairie Grove. All four were harvested by hunters during the 2017-18 deer season, and confirmed as CWD-positive by the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Madison.

Test results have not been received for all samples that have been collected; it’s possible more deer and elk could test positive for the disease. Since these positive samples were detected outside the current CWD Management Zone, the AGFC will continue their review to ensure all information is accurate.

“Although CWD is a serious threat to Arkansas’s elk and white-tailed deer, we are not the first to deal with the disease,” AGFC Director Pat Fitts said. “Our staff is prepared and, with help from the public, will respond with effective measures. We have learned from the experiences of 23 other states.”

CWD was first detected in Arkansas Feb. 23, 2016, when a hunter-harvested elk in Newton County tested positive. The first Arkansas deer with CWD was verified March 3, 2016, also in Newton County.

Public meetings in the area will be scheduled as forums to discuss plans and to answer questions.

CWD was first documented among captive mule deer in Colorado in 1967, and has been detected in 24 states and two Canadian provinces. It’s been found in the wild in 20 states and among captive cervids in 15 states.

The Commission has taken several steps to prevent the disease, which strikes cervids (deer, elk and moose), from entering the state. A moratorium on live cervid importation began in 2002, and the importation of cervid carcasses was banned in 2005. Moratoriums on permits for commercial hunting resorts and breeder/dealer permits for cervid facilities were put in place in 2006.

Capturing white-tailed deer by hand was banned in 2012.

According to the CWD Alliance, the disease was discovered among captive mule deer in Colorado in 1967, and has been detected in 24 other states and two Canadian provinces.

Biologists believe a protein particle called a prion is transmitted through feces, urine and saliva, and can survive for years in soil and plants. CWD can have an incubation period of at least 16 months, which means infected animals may not show symptoms immediately.

CWD affects an animal’s nervous system. Prions transform normal cellular proteins into abnormal shapes that accumulate until neural cells cease to function. Infected animals begin to lose weight, lose their appetite and develop an insatiable thirst. They tend to separate from their herds, walk in repetitive patterns, carry their head low, salivate, urinate frequently and grind their teeth.

Visit ArkansasCWD.com for more information. 10

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission issued the following press release on December 6, 2017 (https://www.agfc.com/en/news/2017/12/06/biological-samples-reveal-70-new-cases-of-cwd-no-new-counties-affected/):

Biological samples reveal 70 new cases of CWD

Seventy new cases of chronic wasting disease have been found in Arkansas since deer season opened in September, according to samples collected by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologists, taxidermists and veterinarians. Although the number of positive cases is high, no samples from new areas of the state have been found so far. The disease has been found in Boone, Carroll, Madison, Marion, Newton, Pope and Searcy counties since September.

Cory Gray, manager of the AGFC’s Research, Education and Compliance Division, says overall the results have been as good as can be expected.

“We have taken more than 2,400 samples so far this season, and we have several batches of samples still at the laboratory,” Gray said. “But most of the positive cases are reinforcing where we believe the disease is most prevalent. Once we have completed this year’s sampling, we hopefully will have a clearer picture of disease distribution.”

Gray says hunters who turn in samples that come back positive for CWD are being notified as soon as possible, and any hunter can check www.arkansascwd.com to look up their sample’s status to have some added piece of mind. Biologists will work with hunters to collect and dispose of any meat from CWD-positive animals and reinstate their game tag if possible.

“If a positive sample is returned from a county which doesn’t currently have CWD, we will follow our standard protocol and confirm that sample through an additional test,” Gray said. “If that test also comes back positive, we will issue a release to make sure hunters in that area are informed.”

Gray says the AGFC’s partnership with taxidermists around the state continues to be invaluable to both the hunters and the agency.

“Last year we worked with taxidermists to gather samples from deer turned in to be mounted, but this year we’ve really tried to advertise to people that any deer can be taken to one of our participating taxidermists to have a CWD sample pulled for free,” Gray said. “We don’t have the manpower to pull samples all over the state throughout the entire deer season, so this partnership really helps give hunters peace of mind about their deer and helps us continue to monitor for the disease outside the focal area, where we know we have it.”

Any hunter who harvests a deer still can have the animal tested by taking the head with about 6 inches of neck attached to one of the participating taxidermists listed on www.arkansascwd.com.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects members of the deer/elk family. It was first described in 1967 in Colorado and since has spread to 23 additional states, Canada, South Korea, 11

and Norway. It was discovered in Arkansas in February 2016, and has since been found in 288 deer or elk in Arkansas after thousands of deer have been tested from across the state.

It is similar to “mad cow disease” in cattle. These diseases are caused by misshapen proteins called prions, which accumulate in the tissues of affected animals, especially the brain, spinal cord, and lymph nodes. Infected animals will not show signs of disease at first, but late in the disease process, they will be thin and may demonstrate weakness, abnormal behavior, excessive thirst or drooling.

There has been no confirmed case of CWD affecting humans or livestock, but with an abundance of caution, the Centers for Disease Control recommends hunters test their harvested game and warns that people should not consume any deer or elk known to have CWD.

Missouri

The Missouri Department of Conservation issued the following press release on January 8, 2018 (https://mdc.mo.gov/newsroom/mdc-reports-15-new-cases-cwd-out-nearly-18400-deer-tested):

MDC reports 15 new cases of CWD out of nearly 18,400 deer tested

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports 15 free-ranging Missouri deer have tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) out of nearly 18,400 test results received so far for the season. The 15 new cases consist of:

 1 from Cedar County from a hunter-harvested adult buck,

 3 from Franklin County from hunter-harvested adult bucks,

 1 from Jefferson County from a hunter-harvested adult buck,

 4 from Linn County from hunter-harvested adult bucks,

 2 from Macon County from a hunter-harvested adult buck and a hunter-harvested adult doe,

 1 from Polk County from a road-killed adult buck,

 1 from St. Clair County from a hunter-harvested adult buck, and

 2 from Ste. Genevieve County from a hunter-harvested adult buck and a hunter-harvested adult doe.

MDC also reports no cases of CWD in Missouri were found along the Missouri-Arkansas border. CWD has been found in several hundred deer in northern Arkansas.

For the third year in a row, MDC also reports no additional cases of CWD have been found in central Missouri, where a single case of CWD was confirmed in Cole County in early 2015.

According to MDC, the low number of CWD cases found in new counties (Cedar, Polk, and Ste. Genevieve) suggests the disease was recently introduced to these areas.

MDC also notes mandatory sampling is proving to be critically important in finding new cases in new areas, and additional testing and thinning of deer in the immediate areas where cases are found is helping to limit the spread of the disease. 12

The 18,400 test results MDC has received so far include nearly 16,000 samples collected from hunter-harvested deer during MDC’s CWD mandatory sampling efforts Nov. 11 and 12. Results also include about 2,400 tissue samples collected for CWD testing throughout the state over several months prior to the mandatory sampling weekend and after the mandatory sampling weekend.

“We could not accomplish this very important work without the help of the many thousands of hunters and hundreds of landowners around Missouri who brought in their deer for CWD testing to help find and limit the spread of this terrible disease,” said MDC Director Sara Pauley. “Thank you!”

The 15 new CWD positives bring the total number of CWD cases detected in free-ranging deer in Missouri to 57 with 10 found in Adair, 1 in Cedar, 1 in Cole, 7 in Franklin, 2 in Jefferson, 5 in Linn, 25 in Macon, 1 in Polk, 3 in St. Clair, and 2 in Ste. Genevieve counties.

For more information on samples submitted for testing, results received and pending, and cases of CWD in Missouri, go online to mdc.mo.gov/cwd under “CWD in Missouri.”

MDC continues to receive tissue samples for CWD testing from taxidermists, road-killed and sick deer, and hunter-harvested submissions. MDC will also collect additional tissue samples for CWD testing through March from areas immediately around where new and recent cases of CWD have been found. The Department will share final results in April once all testing done.

Hunters who have had tissue samples collected for CWD testing from their harvested deer can get test results for their deer, as they become available, at mdc.mo.gov/CWDTestResults. MDC personally notifies all hunters that have positive test results for their deer.

CWD is a deadly illness in white-tailed deer and other members of the deer family, called cervids. CWD kills all deer and other cervids it infects. There is no vaccination against the disease and no treatment or cure for infected animals. For more information on CWD, visit mdc.mo.gov/cwd.

Michigan

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) issued the following press release on December 13, 2017 (http://www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125–455332–rss,00.html):

Chronic Wasting Disease Identified in a Mecosta County Farmed Deer

LANSING – Chronic wasting disease was confirmed this week in a one-and-a-half-year-old female deer from a Mecosta County deer farm. CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. The sample was submitted for testing as a part of the state’s CWD surveillance program.

“The deer farmer who submitted the sample has gone above and beyond any state requirements to protect their deer from disease, and it is unknown at this time how this producer’s herd 13

became infected with CWD,” said Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development State Veterinarian James Averill, DVM. “In partnership with the Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we are taking the necessary steps to protect the health and well-being of all of Michigan’s deer populations.”

“What we know about CWD is always evolving,” said DNR state wildlife veterinarian, Kelly Straka, DVM. “As new positives are found, we learn more about how it’s transmitted to determine the best way to protect both free-ranging and farmed deer.”

MDARD and DNR are following the Michigan Surveillance and Response Plan for Chronic Wasting Disease of Free-Ranging and Privately Owned Cervids. The positive farm has been quarantined and, based on the plan, DNR and MDARD will take the following steps:

 Conduct trace investigations to find possible areas of spread.

 Identify deer farms within the 15-mile radius and implement individual herd plans that explain the CWD testing requirements and movement restrictions for each herd. These herds will also undergo a records audit and fence inspection.

 Partner with the USDA on the management of the herd.

CWD is transmitted directly from one animal to another and indirectly through the environment. Infected animals may display abnormal behavior, progressive weight loss and physical debilitation. To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in humans. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend that infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals.

Since May 2015, when the first free-ranging white-tailed CWD positive deer was found in Michigan, the DNR has tested approximately 23,000 deer. Of those tested, as of December 6, 30 cases of CWD have been suspected or confirmed in deer from Clinton, Ingham, Kent and Montcalm counties. This is the first year any free-ranging deer were found CWD positive in Montcalm or Kent counties.

More information about CWD – including Michigan’s CWD surveillance and response plan – is available at http://www.michigan.gov/cwd.

Minnesota

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health (BAH) issued the following press release on December 8, 2017 (https://www.bah.state.mn.us/news_release/chronic-wasting-disease-update-second-deer-tests-positive-on-winona-county-farm/):

Chronic wasting disease update: second deer tests positive on Winona County farm

Saint Paul – The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has identified another case of CWD in a farmed five-year-old white-tailed buck in Winona County. This is the same farm on which CWD was detected in a three-year-old white-tailed buck last month. The deer was harvested on the farm and samples were collected in November when Board staff visited the farm to establish a 14

quarantine. Positive results were confirmed by the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory on December 8. The Board’s investigation of this herd is ongoing.

CWD is a neurodegenerative disease affecting deer, elk and moose (members of the cervid family) and is always fatal. Abnormally shaped proteins called prions cause the disease and convert normal proteins into infectious ones, which eventually leads to the animal’s death. The disease is believed to be spread from one animal to another through direct contact and/or environmental contamination. Infectious prions can be spread via saliva, feces, urine, and other bodily fluids. Consuming infected meat is not advised.

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health (BAH) issued the following press release on November 22, 2017 (https://www.bah.state.mn.us/news_release/chronic-wasting-disease-discovered-in-winona-county-farm/):

Chronic Wasting Disease discovered in Winona County farm

Saint Paul – Routine disease sampling has led to a positive CWD test result in a three-year-old white-tailed buck from a Winona County farmed herd. The Minnesota Board of Animal Health confirmed the results with the USDA, and has already quarantined the herd and begun its disease investigation. The Board also confirmed it has 10 years of records on this registered herd, which show it has a good history of CWD surveillance.

“This herd is a good example of why dedicated, routine, CWD surveillance is important, and producers should never become complacent with the Board’s testing requirements,” said Dr. Linda Glaser, Board of Animal Health assistant director and cervid program manager. “Those testing and movement records will significantly aid in our CWD investigation of this herd.”

The current herd inventory is seven adult white-tailed deer. The next step for the Board is to track movements of deer into and out of the herd within the last five years. If this tracing effort reveals movements to or from other herds within Minnesota, those herds will become part of the investigation. An initial review of the movement records shows the most recent event occurred in April 2016 when three animals were moved out of the herd. The Board regulates farmed deer and elk in the state, while the DNR responds to and manages CWD in wild deer.

“Department of Natural Resources will follow its CWD response plan for wild deer and work with the Board to obtain information needed to develop a strategy specific to this farm,” said Dr. Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for DNR.

The only other currently quarantined cervid herd in Minnesota is in Crow Wing County. The Board recently issued a press release [click this link to read] announcing continued “CWD not detected” testing results from that herd.

CWD is a disease of the deer and elk family caused by an abnormally shaped protein, a prion, which can damage brain and nerve tissue. The disease is most likely transmitted when infected deer and elk shed prions in saliva, feces, urine, and other fluids or tissues. CWD is not known to naturally occur in other animals. The disease is fatal in deer and elk, and there are no known treatments or vaccines. Consuming infected meat is not advised. 15

Montana

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department issued the following press release on December 5, 2017 (http://fwp.mt.gov/news/newsReleases/headlines/nr_4326.html):

Chronic Wasting Disease Found in Deer north of Chester

A mule deer buck shot by a hunter Nov. 12 north of Chester on the Hi-Line near the Canadian border has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

The deer was taken in hunting district 401 in Liberty County.

The test results mark the fifth incident of CWD discovered in Montana wild deer this fall. The other four deer came from south of Billings. Until this year, CWD had not been found in Montana, though the disease exists in wild deer herds in Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

In anticipation of the disease coming to Montana, FWP recently updated its CWD response plan, and FWP director Martha Williams has assembled an incident command team to respond to the detection near Billings. FWP is in the process of putting together a team for the latest detection north of Chester.

An incident command team will define an initial response area (IRA) around where the infected animal was harvested, and may recommend a special CWD hunt. The specifics of this hunt would be determined by the incident command team.

FWP is currently organizing a hunt to respond to the detections in south central Montana. This hunt will come before the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission at their meeting Thursday in Helena for final approval.

It has not been determined yet if a special CWD hunt will occur at the site of the latest detection north of Chester. Currently, there is no general deer hunting season open near where the deer was harvested in HD 401.

CWD can only be effectively detected in samples from dead animals. CWD is a progressive, fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. It is part of a group of diseases called Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). TSEs are caused by infectious, mis-folded prion proteins, which cause normal prion proteins throughout a healthy animal’s body to mis-fold, resulting in organ damage and eventual death.

Though there is no evidence CWD is transmissible to humans, it is recommended to never ingest meat from animals that appear to be sick or are known to be CWD positive. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends hunters who have harvested a deer, elk, or moose from a known CWD-infected area have the animal tested prior to consuming it. If hunters 16

harvest an animal that appears to be sick, the best thing to do is contact FWP and have the animal inspected.

Some simple precautions should be taken when field dressing deer, elk or moose:

 Wear rubber gloves and eye protection when field dressing.

 Minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues.

 Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing is completed.

 Avoid consuming brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes of harvested animals. (Normal field dressing coupled with boning out of a carcass will essentially remove these parts.)

For more information on CWD and FWP’s response, please look online at fwp.mt.gov/CWD. You can email CWDresponse@mt.gov.

Recent Publications

Dehydration of prions on environmentally relevant surfaces protects them from inactivation by freezing and thawing

Qi Yuan, Glenn Telling, Shannon L. Bartelt-Hunt and Jason C. Bartz

  1. Virol. JVI.02191-17; Accepted manuscript posted online 31 January 2018, doi: 10.1128/JVI.02191-17.

Abstract:

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an emerging prion disease in North America. Recent identification of CWD in wild cervids from Norway raises the concern of the spread of CWD in Europe. CWD infectivity can enter the environment through live animal excreta and carcasses where it can bind to soil. Well-characterized hamster prion strains and CWD field isolates in unadsorbed or soil-adsorbed forms that were either hydrated or dehydrated were subjected to repeated rounds of freezing and thawing. We found that 500 cycles of repeated freezing and thawing of hydrated samples significantly decreased the abundance of PrPSc and reduced PMCA seeding activity that could be rescued by binding to soil. Importantly, dehydration prior to freezing and thawing treatment largely protected PrPSc from degradation and the samples maintained PMCA seeding activity. We hypothesize that redistribution of water molecules during freezing and thawing process alters the stability of PrPSc aggregates. Overall, these results have significant implications for the assessment of prion persistence in the environment.

Importance:

Prions excreted into the environment by infected animals, such as elk and deer infected with chronic wasting disease, persist for years thus facilitate horizontal transmission of the disease. Understanding the fate of prions in the environment is essential to control prion disease transmission. The significance of our study is to provide information on the possibility of prion degradation and inactivation under natural weathering processes. This information is significant 17

for remediation of prion contaminated environment and development of prion disease control strategies.

http://jvi.asm.org/content/early/2018/01/25/JVI.02191-17.abstract

Efficient prion disease transmission through common environmental materials

Sandra Pritzkow, Rodrigo Morales, Adam Lyon, Luis Concha-Marambio, Akihiko Urayama and Claudio Soto

  1. Biol. Chem. Published online January 12, 2018. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.810747

Abstract:

Prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases associated with a protein-based infectious agent, termed prion. Compelling evidence suggests that natural transmission of prion diseases is mediated by environmental contamination with infectious prions. We hypothesized that several natural and man-made materials, commonly found in the environments of wild and captive animals, can bind prions and may act as vectors for disease transmission. To test our hypothesis, we exposed surfaces composed of various common environmental materials (i.e. wood, rocks, plastic, glass, cement, stainless steel, aluminum, and brass) to hamster-adapted 263K scrapie prions and studied their attachment and retention of infectivity in vitro and in vivo. Our results indicated that these surfaces, with the sole exception of brass, efficiently bind, retain, and release prions. Prion replication was studied in vitro using the protein misfolding cyclic amplification technology and infectivity of surface-bound prions was analyzed by intra-cerebrally challenging hamsters with contaminated implants. Our results revealed that virtually all prion-contaminated materials transmitted the disease at high rates. To investigate a more natural form of exposure to environmental contamination, we simply housed animals with large contaminated spheres made of the different materials under study, instead of injecting them with prion materials. Strikingly, most of the hamsters developed classical clinical signs of prion disease and typical disease-associated brain changes. Our findings suggest that prion contamination of surfaces commonly present in the environment can be a source of disease transmission, thus expanding our understanding of the mechanisms for prion spreading in nature.

http://www.jbc.org/content/early/2018/01/12/jbc.M117.810747

2017 Michigan Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Symposium Presentations

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development hosted a Chronic Wasting Disease Symposium at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing on October 3-4, 2017. These are the presentations from that symposium that were livestreamed during the event.  View the video series.

CWD Update

International Updates

Norway

The following release was issued by the Norwegian Veterinary Institute on November 15, 2017 (https://www.vetinst.no/nyheter/surveillance-and-eradication-efforts-towards-cwd):

Surveillance and eradication efforts towards CWD

Surveillance and eradication efforts towards Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Norwegian free-ranging reindeer proceeds. Around 700 animals were taken out during the 2017 hunting season, leaving some 1500 animals to be handled by professionals.

All animals taken out will be tested for CWD by the Norwegian Veterinary Institute. From this, the government will be provided with knowledge of the disease prevalence in the area. Sampling will further give opportunities for research and increased understanding of this severe disease in cervids.

Since the detection of CWD in 2016, Norway has sampled and analysed around 29.000 individuals across the four species; reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus), red deer (Cervus elaphus atlanticus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and moose (Alces alces). CWD has so far, in November 2017, been detected in eight free-ranging reindeer, three moose and one red deer.

See interview with Jørn Våge, CWD coordinator at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9ztjsVun9Og?rel=0.

State and Provincial Updates

Michigan

The following press release was issued by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on November 17, 2017 (https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MIDNR/bulletins/1c5a081#.Wg80SyzvXiM.facebook):

Federal lab confirms Montcalm County deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease

– This is second hunter-harvested CWD-positive deer in Montcalm County; three additional suspect positives awaiting confirmation

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced today that the 1.5-year-old buck, harvested last month in Sidney Township (Montcalm County), was confirmed positive for 2

chronic wasting disease by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. This is the 11th case of CWD to be confirmed in a free-ranging deer in Michigan.

Since the harvest of that deer, three additional suspect positive deer – all from Montcalm County, in Pine, Reynolds and Sidney townships – are awaiting confirmation.

“Thank you to these hunters for checking their deer, which is required for these areas. Hunter assistance is critical in the ongoing fight against the spread of CWD,” said Chad Stewart, DNR deer specialist. “The response from hunters so far shows a strong willingness to help, and it’s clear that more hunters are committed to getting their deer tested.”

There are three Core CWD Areas that have mandatory check. To determine if a hunting location is within a mandatory check area, or to find the nearest DNR deer check station, visit michigan.gov/cwd.

“In a short amount of time, without many deer tested from these areas, we are finding more CWD-positive deer,” Stewart said. “This is concerning. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is for hunters from the surrounding areas that are outside of mandatory check locations to have their deer tested, too.”

To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in humans. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend that infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. It is caused by the transmission of infectious, self-multiplying proteins (prions) contained in saliva and other body fluids of infected animals. Susceptible animals can acquire CWD by direct exposure to these fluids, from environments contaminated with these fluids or the carcass of a diseased animal.

To learn more about chronic wasting disease, visit michigan.gov/cwd.

Minnesota

The following press release was issued by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on November 15, 2017 (http://news.dnr.state.mn.us/2017/11/15/7-deer-test-presumptive-positive-in-southeasts-cwd-management-zone/):

7 deer test presumptive positive in southeast’s CWD management zone

– Final results for area 603 expected this week

Preliminary tests show that seven deer harvested in southeastern Minnesota’s disease management zone during the first firearms deer season may be infected with chronic wasting disease. 3

Hunters harvested three of the seven suspect deer near Preston in deer permit area 603, where 11 other deer tested positive during last year’s CWD surveillance efforts. Three others were harvested in Forestville-Mystery Cave State Park, which is still within area 603 but west of the core disease area. The remaining deer was harvested east of Wykoff and north of the park.

Test results from deer permit areas surrounding 603 aren’t yet available and must be analyzed to assess the full extent of the disease and whether or not it has spread outside of the disease management zone.

Once all sampling is completed and test results received, the Department of Natural Resources will follow its CWD response plan and determine next steps, which may include boundary changes to area 603 and additional deer hunting opportunities for the public or landowners.

Lou Cornicelli, DNR wildlife research manager, said it isn’t clear whether the additional positives indicate a westward expansion of the disease or individual deer movements, given all the presumptive positive deer were adult males.

Testing continues on suspect deer and in 603

CWD testing is a two-step process. The initial tissue sample is analyzed to determine if the animal is presumptive positive. A final test is completed on all presumptive positive samples to confirm if the animal is infected with the disease.

The DNR expects final test results and disease confirmations for all seven deer soon. Those results and any future positives in area 603 will be posted on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwdcheck.

Since the archery deer season began in mid-September, 700 samples have been collected in area 603. Hunters brought in 499 of those samples during the first firearms deer season, which began Nov. 4 and concluded Nov. 12. Results are pending on 40 of those deer.

“The DNR wants to thank hunters who submitted samples over opening weekend,” said Jim Leach, DNR Fish and Wildlife Division director. “Compliance was very high, suggesting hunters view this as a very important issue.”

Hunters are reminded that mandatory testing of all adult deer harvested in area 603 continues throughout the 3B season (which starts Saturday, Nov. 18 and concludes Sunday, Nov. 26), as well during the remaining archery, muzzleloader and late seasons. Check stations are located in Preston and Chatfield.

The DNR also will open voluntary surveillance stations from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 18-19 in Rushford and Houston. The DNR encourages hunters who harvest deer around the disease management zone, in deer permit areas 343, 345, 346, 347, 348 and 349, to participate in voluntary sampling at these locations in order to collect as many samples as possible. 4

Check the DNR’s website, mndnr.gov/cwdcheck, for specific information on check station locations, additional CWD information and DNR efforts to keep Minnesota deer healthy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, to date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in people. However, the CDC advises people not to eat meat from animals known to have CWD. Go to www.cdc.gov/prions/cwd for more information.

Montana

The following press release was issued by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks on November 8, 2017 (http://fwp.mt.gov/news/newsReleases/fishAndWildlife/nr_1016.html):

CWD sample comes back suspect, second sample submitted

A chronic wasting disease sample collected by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks in late October from a hunter-killed deer was found to be suspect for chronic wasting disease.

The sample was collected from a mule deer buck harvested in hunting district 510 south of Billings. The animal was killed in an area with a mixture of private and public land 10 miles southeast of Bridger. A second sample collected from the animal is being sent to the lab at Colorado State University for further testing, with results expected next week. If the result is positive, it will mark the first time CWD has appeared in wild deer, elk or moose in Montana.

FWP has notified the hunter who submitted the suspect sample and landowners in the area where the deer was harvested. Though typically it takes one sample test to determine whether an animal is positive for CWD, that wasn’t the case here. Though the sample is considered suspect at this point, it is very rare that a suspect sample isn’t ultimately found positive. Therefore, FWP is moving forward as if the deer will ultimately be determined positive for CWD.

“We’ve suspected it wasn’t a matter of if, but when CWD would show up in Montana,” said Ken McDonald, FWP wildlife division administrator. “Fortunately, we’ve done a lot of work to prepare for this, and are hopeful the prevalence will be low as we work toward managing the disease.”

FWP has recently updated its CWD response plan, which was presented to the Fish and Wildlife Commission on Tuesday and is now open for public comment.

In accordance with the response plan, FWP director Martha Williams assembled an incident command team to respond to the detection. The incident command team will define an initial response area (IRA) around where the infected animal was harvested, and may recommend a special CWD hunt. The specifics of this hunt would be determined by the incident command team. 5

The goal of a special CWD hunt would be to collect enough samples to determine disease prevalence and distribution. CWD can only be effectively detected in samples from dead animals. FWP would rely on hunters to harvest enough animals to make these determinations.

CWD is a progressive, fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. It is part of a group of diseases called Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). TSEs are caused by infectious, mis-folded prion proteins, which cause normal prion proteins throughout a healthy animal’s body to mis-fold, resulting in organ damage and eventual death.

CWD is a slow-moving disease. However, left unmanaged, it could result in long-term population declines within affected herds. All the states and provinces that border Montana, other than Idaho and British Columbia, have found CWD in their wild cervids. The closest positive to Montana was in Wyoming, about 8 miles south of the Montana border and less than 50 miles southeast of where Montana’s suspect deer was harvested.

Though there is no evidence CWD is transmissible to humans, it is recommended to never ingest meat from animals that appear to be sick or are known to be CWD positive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends hunters who have harvested a deer, elk, or moose from a known CWD-infected area have the animal tested prior to consuming it. If hunters harvest an animal that appears to be sick, the best thing to do is contact FWP and have the animal inspected.

Some simple precautions should be taken when field dressing deer, elk or moose:

 Wear rubber gloves and eye protection when field dressing.

 Minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues.

 Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing is completed.

 Avoid consuming brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes of harvested animals. (Normal field dressing coupled with boning out of a carcass will essentially remove all of these parts.)

FWP is currently in year one of a revamped CWD surveillance program. Department staff are collecting CWD samples from hunters in this year’s priority area of south central Montana. Most samples are collected from game check stations and cooperating meat processors and taxidermists. Hunters who submit a sample will receive a card with a sample number. That number can be checked online along with the list of results at fwp.mt.gov/CWD.

Should this suspect sample be determined to be positive, FWP will move quickly to communicate with local landowners, government agencies and the public about plans for a special hunt. The success of any CWD hunt will depend largely on the cooperation from everyone involved.

In the meantime, FWP will be encouraging all hunters harvesting deer within that area (hunting districts 502 and 510) to get them sampled. This can be done by visiting the Laurel check station, 6

which is open on weekends, or by contacting or visiting the FWP regional office in Billings at 406-247-2940.

For more information and to look at test results, go online to fwp.mt.gov/cwd.

Note: Confirmation testing results were released on November 15, 2017: http://fwp.mt.gov/news/newsReleases/fishAndWildlife/nr_1019.html.

The following press release was issued by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks on November 14, 2017 (http://fwp.mt.gov/news/newsReleases/fishAndWildlife/nr_1018.html):

Second deer found suspect for CWD

A second mule deer buck from hunting district 510 was found to be suspect for chronic wasting disease.

This buck was harvested about 3 miles south of Belfry. A second sample from the buck is being tested by the lab at Colorado State University, with results expected next week. This is the second mule deer to be found suspect for CWD within the last week.

Last Tuesday, FWP got word that a sample from a buck harvested about 10 southeast of Bridger was found to be suspect for CWD. A second sample from the buck is being tested to see if the animal is indeed CWD positive.

In response to the initial detection, FWP director Martha Williams created an incident command team. The incident command team is being led by Barb Beck, FWP Region 5 supervisor.

FWP has notified the hunter who submitted the new suspect sample. Much of the area where the animal was harvested is public land.

CWD is a progressive, fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. It is a slow-moving disease. However, left unmanaged, it could result in long-term population declines within affected herds.

Though there is no evidence CWD is transmissible to humans, it is recommended to never ingest meat from animals that appear to be sick or are known to be CWD positive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends hunters who have harvested a deer, elk, or moose from a known CWD-infected area have the animal tested prior to consuming it. If hunters harvest an animal that appears to be sick, the best thing to do is contact FWP and have the animal inspected.

Some simple precautions should be taken when field dressing deer, elk or moose:

 Wear rubber gloves and eye protection when field dressing.

 Minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues.

 Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing is completed.

 Avoid consuming brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes of harvested animals. (Normal field dressing coupled with boning out of a carcass will essentially remove these parts.)

Montana hunters need to remember that Montana law prohibits the import of heads and spinal columns of deer, elk or moose harvested in states or provinces that have CWD in wild or captive populations.

Out of state hunters should check their state’s carcass transport restrictions since Montana is now a CWD positive state. Hunters should also dispose of carcass waste in a Class II landfill. Disposing of carcass waste on the landscape is considered littering and it may facilitate the spread of CWD.

Additionally, hunters who are concerned about whether the deer, elk or moose they harvest is infected with CWD should have the animal tested. If the animal was harvested in the priority surveillance area, the sampling can be done at a check station within the area or at the FWP Region 3 office in Bozeman or the Region 5 office in Billings. If the animal is harvested outside the area, hunters can follow the directions on the web at fwp.mt.gov/CWD to take and submit their own samples for testing.

The area where both suspect samples were discovered is part of the FWP priority CWD surveillance area. FWP staff are collecting samples from hunter harvested deer in south central Montana hunting districts. Most samples are collected at check stations and hunters receive a card with a sample number. FWP is encouraging hunters who harvest deer in within the priority CWD surveillance area, and especially hunting districts 502 and 510, to submit their animals for testing. If this is not done at a check station, hunters can call the FWP Region 5 office in Billings at 406-247-2940.

FWP has recently updated its CWD response plan, which is open for public comment. In accordance with the response plan the incident command team will define an initial response area around where the infected animals were harvested, and may recommend a special CWD hunt. The specifics of this hunt would be determined by the incident command team.

The goal of a special CWD hunt would be to collect enough samples to determine disease prevalence and distribution. The most efficient and cost-effective way to test for CWD is by collecting samples from harvested animals. FWP would rely on hunters to harvest enough animals to make these determinations.

For more information, look online at fwp.mt.gov/CWD

Wisconsin

The following press release was issued by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) on November 10, 2017 (https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WIDATCP/bulletins/1c3d998):

DATCP quarantines Iowa County deer breeding farm after connection to Waupaca County hunting ranch CWD investigation

MADISON – Confirmation of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in two white-tailed deer shot on a hunting ranch in Waupaca County has led to another farm in Iowa County being quarantined, Wisconsin State Veterinarian Dr. Paul McGraw announced today. The National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the test results today.

The bucks, both 4 years old, were killed on the 84-acre hunting ranch in Waupaca, but originated from a 15-acre breeding farm in Mineral Point, Wisconsin that contains 110 white-tailed deer, according to the owner’s most recent registration records. Both deer were natural additions to the breeding farm and were moved to the Waupaca hunting ranch in September of this year.

Neither animal reportedly showed clinical signs of CWD. Both were sampled in accordance with Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s (DATCP’s) rules, which require testing of deer that die or are killed on a hunting ranch.

McGraw placed a quarantine on the Iowa County farm, which allows live deer to move by special permit only to the Waupaca hunting ranch; the Waupaca hunting ranch is already quarantined because of previous findings of CWD.

The DATCP Animal Health Division will continue the investigation into each animal’s history and trace movements of deer to determine whether other herds may have been exposed to the CWD test-positive deer.

The following press release was issued by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on November 14, 2017 (http://dnr.wi.gov/news/releases/article/?id=4382):

Baiting and feeding ban will begin Dec. 1, 2017 for Monroe County after positive CWD detection confirmed in Vernon County

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has received confirmation that a wild deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease in northeastern Vernon County which already has a prohibition on baiting and feeding due to a previous detection in the area. As required by law, this finding will initiate a baiting and feeding ban for Monroe County, effective Dec. 1, 2017. Since Monroe County is adjacent to a county with a CWD positive test result, the ban will be in place for a 2-year period however individuals interested in baiting or feeding deer should know that if any additional positive test results occur over the next two years, the ban will be extended accordingly. 9

The 1-year-old doe was harvested in Greenwood township and is the first confirmed positive in Vernon County. To find out if the disease is present in other wild deer in the area, the DNR will conduct disease surveillance within a 10-mile radius around the positive location.

State law requires that the Wisconsin DNR enact a ban on feeding and baiting of deer in counties or portions of counties within a 10-mile radius of a captive or free-roaming domestic or wild animal that tests positive for CWD or tuberculosis. The two-year baiting and feeding ban will take effect for Monroe County beginning Dec. 1, 2017.

Since baiting and feeding is already prohibited in Vernon County, this finding re-starts the clock on a three-year baiting and feeding ban there due to this CWD detection.

For more information regarding baiting and feeding regulations and CWD in Wisconsin, visit the department’s website, dnr.wi.gov, and search keywords “bait” and “CWD” respectively.

Wyoming

The following press release was issued by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department on November 15, 2017 (https://wgfd.wyo.gov/News/CWD-found-in-deer-hunt-area-near-Meeteetse):

CWD found in deer hunt area near Meeteetse

Cheyenne – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department diagnosed chronic wasting disease (CWD) for the first time in Deer Hunt Area 118 near Meeteetse, Wyoming. The Game and Fish Wildlife Health Laboratory confirmed CWD in a buck white-tailed deer harvested by a hunter on Nov. 3 near Gooseberry Creek.

Deer Hunt Area 118 is bordered on three sides by hunt areas where CWD has been found previously. A map of the CWD endemic areas is available on the Game and Fish website.

For many years Game and Fish has been asking hunters to help with monitoring the disease by getting their harvested animals tested. Game and Fish also shares the CDC recommendation that hunters should consider getting their animals tested if harvested in a known CWD endemic area and not to consume any animal that is obviously ill or tests positive for CWD.

Last year, Game and Fish personnel collected and tested more than 3,350 CWD samples throughout the state, a significant increase from past years. This year Game and Fish will sample a similar number.

Please visit the Game and Fish website for more information on chronic wasting disease transmission and regulations on transportation and disposal of carcasses.

Recent Publications

Chronic Wasting Disease Prion Strain Emergence and Host Range Expansion

Allen Herbst, Camilo Duque Velásquez, Elizabeth Triscott, Judd M. Aiken, and Debbie McKenzie

Emerg Infect Dis. 2017;23(9):1598-1600. https://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2309.161474

Abstract:

Human and mouse prion proteins share a structural motif that regulates resistance to common chronic wasting disease (CWD) prion strains. Successful transmission of an emergent strain of CWD prion, H95+, into mice resulted in infection. Thus, emergent CWD prion strains may have higher zoonotic potential than common strains.

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/23/9/16-1474_article

Assessment of CWD prion shedding in deer saliva with occupancy modeling

Kristen A. Davenport, Brittany A. Mosher, Brian M. Brost, Davin M. Henderson, Nathaniel D. Denkers, Amy V. Nalls, Erin McNulty, Candace K. Mathiason and Edward A. Hoover

J. Clin. Microbiol. doi:10.1128/JCM.01243-17

Abstract:

Detection of prions is difficult due to the peculiarity of the pathogen, which is a misfolded form of a normal protein. The specificity and sensitivity of detection methods are imperfect in complex samples, including excreta. Here, we combined optimized prion amplification procedures with a statistical method that accounts for false positive and false negative errors to test deer saliva for chronic wasting disease (CWD) prions. This approach enabled us to discriminate shedding of prions in saliva and detection of prions in saliva — a distinction crucial to understanding the role of prion shedding in disease transmission and for diagnosis. We found that assay sensitivity and specificity were indeed imperfect, and we were able to draw several conclusions pertinent to CWD biology from our analyses: (1) shedding of prions in saliva increases with time post-inoculation, but is common throughout the pre-clinical phase of disease; (2) shedding propensity is influenced neither by sex nor by prion protein genotype at codon 96; and (3) the source of prion-containing inoculum used to infect deer affects the likelihood of prion shedding in saliva — oral inoculation of deer with CWD(+) saliva resulted in 2.77 times the likelihood of prion shedding in saliva compared to inoculation with CWD(+) brain. These results are pertinent to horizontal CWD transmission in wild cervids. Moreover, the approach described is applicable to other diagnostic assays with imperfect detection.

http://jcm.asm.org/content/early/2017/11/02/JCM.01243-17.abstract

 

Key Sportsman Groups Endorse Rep. Kind’s Bipartisan Bill to Manage and Prevent the Spread of Chronic Wasting Disease

 

La Crosse, WI – Today, key sportsman groups endorsed Rep. Kind’s bipartisan Chronic Wasting Disease Management Act. The bill will support state and tribal efforts to develop and implement management strategies as well as support research regarding the causes of chronic wasting disease and methods to control the further spread of the disease. CWD positive deer have been found in or within 10 miles of Grant, Vernon, Crawford, Richland, Monroe, Juneau, Adams, Portage, and Wood counties.

Below are comments from groups who have endorsed the bill: 

Wisconsin Wildlife Federation

“The funding and help with research outlined in Reps. Kind and Sensenbrenner’s legislation would give the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources the kind of support it needs as it grapples with the spread of chronic wasting disease in the state,” said George Meyer, executive director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. “Wisconsin’s deer herds are critically important to the state’s more than 600,000 gun hunters and 225,000 bow hunters. They represent an estimated $1 billion in annual economic benefits for the state.”

Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation

“The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) has long recognized that increased attention to, and funding for, regular screening and testing of cervids at the state level is necessary to ensure a timely response is possible in the event of a Chronic Wasting Disease outbreak,” said Brent Miller CSF’s Senior Director, Northeastern States. “We commend the leadership of Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus member, Congressman Kind, and Congressman Sensenbrenner on this critical wildlife management issue.”

National Wildlife Federation

“Chronic Wasting Disease poses a grave threat to North America’s deer, elk, and moose herds, and the hunters and communities that depend on them,” said Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Yet as this terrible disease spreads rapidly across our country, it’s received neither the urgent attention nor sufficient resources from Washington to combat it. That is about to change thanks to the leadership of two great sportsmen, Representatives Ron Kind and Jim Sensenbrenner, who understand how serious this threat and why immediate action is needed. The National Wildlife Federation enthusiastically supports their bill to provide states and tribes the support required to respond to this critical threat to America’s wildlife.”

Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance

“In the last decade, while CWD has relentlessly spread to new areas and increased in prevalence, the funding and resources to fight it have dwindled,” said Matt Dunfee, Program Coordinator for the CWD Alliance. “Given that CWD may pose the greatest risk to the sustainability of North America’s deer, elk, and moose populations, it is beyond vital that we ramp up the funding and resources needed to manage this disease. This proposed legislation goes a long way in getting the wildlife management community the tools they need to fight CWD at a level appropriate to the severity of the disease.”

National Deer Alliance

“At the North American Deer Summit, held earlier this year in Austin, TX, the states represented made it clear that more funding was needed for CWD monitoring and research. We are glad that our coalition of conservation groups was able to work with Congressman Kind and Congressman Sensenbrenner to craft this important legislation,” said the National Deer Alliance.

Quality Deer Management Association

“The importance of healthy white-tailed deer populations to the future of wildlife conservation and our hunting heritage cannot be overemphasized,” said QDMA CEO Brian Murphy.  “Expenditures by whitetail hunters account for nearly half of the entire U.S. hunting economy which employs nearly 500,000 Americans, contributes tens of billions to our economy, and funds significant portions of state wildlife agency budgets for both game and nongame species.”

Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies

“Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological disease that affects members of the deer family, and may be one of the biggest challenges in modern wildlife conservation history,” stated Virgil Moore, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Director of Idaho Fish and Game. “This legislative package, if passed, will move forward and strengthen state and tribal chronic wasting disease management strategies by providing critical funding to help protect our nation’s wildlife.”

With 88% of Wisconsin’s 763,384 hunters participating in deer hunting and an economic impact of $2.5 billion, it is critical that action is taken to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease.

The bill is co-sponsored by Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI). It has three main components.

  • Authorizing funding to state and tribal agencies responsible for wildlife management to implement management strategies to address CWD.
  • Directing USDA to make grants to expand and accelerate applied research on CWD.
  • Directing USDA and the Department of Interior to work cooperatively with the states to conduct research and implement state CWD response plans to reduce the spread and prevalence of the disease.