For the fourth year in a row, testing of Ohio’s deer herd has found no evidence of chronic wasting disease (CWD), a degenerative brain disease that affects elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer.
State officials collected samples from hunter-harvested deer during the deer-gun season that ran November 28-December 4 last year. The 737 samples were tested by the Animal Disease Diagnostics Laboratory of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
Since 2002, the Division of Wildlife has been conducting surveillance throughout the state for CWD, as well as Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease and Bovine Tuberculosis. While CWD has never been found in Ohio’s deer herd, it had been diagnosed in both wild and/or captive deer or elk in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and two Canadian provinces.
Since CWD was discovered in the Western United States in the late 1960s, there has been no evidence that the disease can be transmitted to humans.
The Division of Wildlife continues to carefully monitor the health of Ohio’s deer herd throughout the year.