CWD UPDATE DECEMBER 20, 2002

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley Campbell has issued a special exemption to the state’s ban on the importation of cervids. When he received a complaint from an elementary school class reference the cervid ban, he decided to issue the exemption. The class was concerned that Santa Clause could not come to New Jersey this year because his reindeer were cervids and all cervids were banned from entering the state. To insure that Christmas was not ruined for the kids of his State, Commissioner Bradley issued a special exemption for reindeer that can fly.

Three additional cases of CWD have been found in Illinois. One of the cases was in the same vicinity of the index case near Roscoe, Illinois in Boone County and one in neighboring Winnebago County. The earlier case had previously been reported to be from Winnebago County but was later determined to be in Boone County, just over the county line. The other case was approximately 30 miles east of Roscoe in McHenry County. These cases were found through hunter harvest surveillance. These latest findings bring the total of positive CWD animals in Illinois to 4.

A judge in Louisiana has upheld the states ban on the importation of cervids. A captive wildlife producer from that state had planned on moving several elk from his facility in Arkansas to Louisiana. The Arkansas Game and Fish Department had given the producer until December 31 to get rid of his elk. The ban in Louisiana prevented him from moving them to a fenced facility he had constructed in that state. The producer filed suit against the ban but it was upheld by the Louisiana judge. The producer is now planning on selling hunts for the elk and then killing any left after that.

The preliminary results from 846 deer collected from eastern Nebraska during the firearm season were all negative. The ELISA test failed to turn up any positive samples. All samples are being rechecked by the IHC test to insure none were missed. These animals were from the eastern third of the state.