CWD UPDATE JANUARY 22, 2003

Five more deer have been confirmed with CWD in Nebraska. The latest positives were all from the panhandle region of the state. Two adult mule deer bucks from Morrill County (approximately 15 miles from last springs positive in Scotts Bluff County), one adult white tail female and one adult mule deer male from Sioux County, and an adult mule deer buck from Kimball were positive. There have now been a total of seven positives, all from the known endemic area, out of approximately 3,600 tests conducted. The results on approximately 600 more samples are pending. This brings the total number of positive in wild deer in Nebraska to 22 since the first case in 2000.

Indiana DNR reports that 639 of the 1,361 samples collected during the 2002 hunting season have not tested positive for CWD. This initial report is encouraging that CWD has yet to make an appearance in that state. State officials are still waiting on the results of the remaining tests.

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks reports that samples from 410 elk, 30 mule deer and 117 white-tailed deer have not shown any positives. Results on an additional 174 elk, 477 mule deer and 692 white-tailed deer are still pending. The majority of the samples were collected in the Black Hills area with 137 white-tailed deer and one mule deer sample being collected from McPherson County in north central South Dakota.

Dr. Ermias Belay of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised the TSE Advisory panel of the Food and Drug Administration that there are still no reported cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the U. S. The only case is still a Florida woman who contacted the disease when living in Great Britain.

Minnesota DNR reports that the first 2,000 tests on samples collected during the fall hunting season have failed to find any CWD positive animals in that state. Results on an additional 2,500 samples are expected by the end of the month.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has banned 4 former Saskatchewan elk farmers from growing grain or raising livestock because their land may harbor chronic wasting disease organism. The owners are among 40 farms in Saskatchewan where elk tested positive for CWD. This action was taken due to the four farms having a lot of positives over a long period of time. Additionally, the owners must maintain the game proof fences on their land to prevent the ingress of wild cervids or livestock into the potentially contaminated ground.

The National Stock Show, Rodeo and Horse Show once again suspended sales of domestic elk at the annual event in Denver. Last years show canceled elk sales because of CWD and did not even schedule one for this year’s show. Officials who organize the show state that it will be years before elk are allowed at the show again.