A flyer on Chronic Wasting Disease is now available from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife). Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a contagious neurological disease fatal to deer and elk. CWD has been found in wild or captive deer or elk in several western and midwestern states and Canadian provinces. Information to date from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization indicate that people, cattle and other livestock are resistant to transmission of CWD. The brochure is designed to inform people about CWD, including symptoms and transmission and how MassWildlife is addressing this serious disease. Advice to people observing deer with signs of CWD and hunters or others involved in butchering deer is also provided. Brochures are available at the MassWildlife Westboro Field Headquarters and the five MassWildlife District offices located in Acton, Belchertown, Bourne, Pittsfield and West Boylston. This flyer will also be posted in the Wildlife Diseases area of MassWildlife’s website at www.mass.gov/masswildlife.
It is MassWildlife’s mission to keep wildlife populations healthy and in balance with their habitat. In keeping with this mission, MassWildife has taken several actions to address this disease. While CWD is not known to be present in Massachusetts, MassWildife implemented a surveillance and monitoring program to detect the disease as soon as possible. CWD has never been detected in Massachusetts and samples of hunter-harvested and road kill deer have been collected for the past two years. The importation of live cervids (members of the deer family) has also been banned as an effort to prevent the disease from entering Massachusetts.