Due to the regular amending of regulations in North Carolina, 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 North Carolina can be seen below:
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RALEIGH, N.C. (July 8, 2014) — Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a transmissible and fatal neurological disease of deer and elk, was not detected in a recent statewide survey conducted by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
Humans are not known to contract CWD. No treatment or cure for CWD exists. Direct, animal-to-animal contact is a means of transmission, but evidence suggests that contaminated environments and equipment also present risks.
“CWD proves devastating to populations of cervids — the family of mammals that includes white-tailed deer, elk, mule deer and moose,” said Dr. Maria Palamar, wildlife veterinarian for the Commission. “The indications of this survey are welcome news.”
The diagnostic laboratory report was from a sampling of more than 3,800 free-ranging deer and elk beginning in 2013 and continuing through earlier this year. Biologists collected brain stem tissue and retropharyngeal lymph nodes from the animals.
“It was a successful and widespread effort to obtain samples,” Palamar said. “Much thanks goes to agency field staff in all divisions, certainly, but we have to especially thank all the deer hunters and processors who provided samples. We exceeded our sample goals. The survey also provided excellent CWD educational opportunities.”
CWD has been confirmed in neighboring states, with West Virginia reporting a case in 2005, followed by Virginia in 2010 and Maryland in 2011. Preventive measures are in place to reduce the risk of transmission in North Carolina, with stringent regulations governing anyone who holds captive cervids and regulations for hunters returning with hide, meat or trophies of cervids taken out of state.
For more information on CWD, go online or call the Division of Wildlife Management at 919-707-0050.
CWD positive states are Virginia, North Dakota, Missouri, Michigan, New York, West Virginia, Utah, Illinois, Oklahoma, Minnesota, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Kansas, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, Iowa and Pennsylvania. Also, Canada’s Alberta and Saskatchewan provinces have reported CWD cases.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is asking whitetail hunters to allow staff to sample their deer harvests this fall for the agency’s statewide Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) surveillance effort.
CWD is a fatal disease, although deer may not show symptoms for five years or more. No treatment or cure for CWD exists. Direct, animal-to-animal contact is a means of transmission, but evidence also suggests that contaminated environments present risks. Humans are not known to contract CWD.
Although CWD has not been detected in North Carolina, deer populations have tested positive for the disease in Virginia, West Virginia and 20 other states, as well as two Canadian provinces. The Wildlife Commission conducts surveillance of the white-tailed deer population to monitor for the presence of the disease and prevent its spread if it were detected in the state’s deer population.
The Commission has been conducting CWD surveillance of white-tailed deer since 1999, including two statewide sampling efforts in 2003 and 2008, and smaller scale subsampling efforts in other years. The 2013 surveillance effort will be the most extensive yet as Commission staff seeks to collect samples from a minimum of 3,000 deer from across the state.
Public assistance in this effort will be essential to help the Commission meet its goal, according to Maria Palamar, the Commission’s wildlife veterinarian.
“If you, or someone you know, harvests deer this fall and are willing to donate samples, please contact the Wildlife Commission promptly,” Palamar said. “We’ll collect the brain stem and retropharyngeal lymph nodes to submit for laboratory testing. Collection of these tissues does not interfere with a hunter’s ability to retain the antlers or consume the meat.”
Hunters who want to assist the Commission in this effort should contact their local district wildlife biologists to discuss the collection process. Contact information for each of the Commission’s nine district biologists, as well as the three regional wildlife supervisors, can be found on this map. Hunters can also call the Commission’s Division of Wildlife Management at 919-707-0050.
Along with providing an actual tissue sample, you will be asked to provide your name and contact information and the exact location where the deer was killed, the date of the kill, and the sex. Suitable samples can be taken from any deer 1½ years or older. While younger deer (i.e., button bucks) can potentially have the disease, it will not have progressed far enough that it can be detected in the testing.
For more information on hunting in North Carolina, visit the Commission’s hunting page, or call the Division of Wildlife Management, 919-707-0050
RALEIGH, N.C. (Oct. 19, 2011) – Tissue samples from deer seized by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission from an unlicensed Randolph County facility on Sept. 20 tested negative for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
CWD is a highly contagious and devastating disease of cervid species, which include deer, caribou, moose and elk. North Carolina is home to white-tailed deer and elk in the wild, and other cervid species that are held in licensed facilities. CWD was not detected in samples analyzed by National Veterinary Services Laboratories, of Ames, Iowa, a section of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Executive Director Gordon Myers said, “The State is very fortunate that CWD was not detected in tissue samples taken from these animals. Had these test results been positive, it would have presented significant biological, economical and sociological impacts throughout North Carolina. Captive deer of unknown origin pose a serious risk to the health of all deer within our state. We were very lucky in this situation.”
If samples were found to be positive for CWD, North Carolina’s CWD Response Plan would have been implemented. Response actions include, but are not limited to:
Following detection of CWD in the eastern United States in 2002, there has been a concerted effort to prevent the spread of CWD to North Carolina’s deer and elk populations. Stringent laws and regulations have been pivotal in preventing the importation of this highly infectious and fatal animal disease. To date, CWD has been detected in 19 states, including Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.
More information on CWD is available through the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission at www.ncwildlife.org; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/cwd/ and the National CWD Alliance at www.cwd-info.org.
RALEIGH, N.C. — Chronic wasting disease still has not turned up in North Carolina deer, according to recent statewide tests.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has tested more than 1,800 deer since 1999 for chronic wasting disease, or CWD. The fatal, contagious illness has afflicted deer and related animals in 13 states and two Canadian provinces. Most outbreaks have occurred in western and midwestern states.
Until this spring, the nearest case to North Carolina was in northern Illinois. In April, New York wildlife officials reported CWD in two captive herds and among wild deer nearby.
“The discovery of CWD on the Eastern Seaboard is very alarming,” said Evin Stanford, deer biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Commission. “Although we could never say with 100 percent confidence that we were free from the disease, we were somewhat comforted by the distance between us and the nearest CWD-positive area. Now, our comfort level has been somewhat reduced.”
CWD is a progressive neurological disease that causes weight loss, neurological problems and, ultimately, death in deer and elk. There is no known cure or vaccination. Although no scientific evidence has indicated that CWD can be transmitted to humans, public health officials caution that hunters and others who come into contact with deer or elk should take general safety precautions.
To protect North Carolina’s deer and elk, both captive and wild, the Wildlife Commission has restricted imports of the animals from other states and has limited the movement of captive deer and elk within the state. The Commission has also aggressively tested deer and elk across the state — nearly 1,500 in 2003 alone.
Because of the resources involved in such large-scale testing, the Commission will repeat the effort only every five years or so. In the meantime, the agency will concentrate its testing on animals that have been observed with CWD symptoms, which include:
Anyone who sees a deer exhibiting those symptoms should call the Wildlife Commission’s Division of Wildlife Management at (919) 733-7291. For more information on CWD, including tips on safe handling of deer and deer parts, see the CWD page, or www.cwd-info.org.