CWD UPDATE February 19, 2003

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has announced that they have detected CWD in one free roaming buck mule deer. The animal was harvested on Diamond Mountain, just north of Vernal, Utah, close to the Colorado border. This is one of approximately 400 deer from that unit that were tested.

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has announced an additional two positive mule deer. The latest animals to test positive were from hunter harvest samples in the Organ Mountains. This is a slight extension of the range of CWD in New Mexico as the previous 4 positives were all from the base housing area on White Sands Missile Range. The Organ Mountains are south and west of the base housing area.

The Mississippi Senate has enacted legislation that bans whitetail deer imports and places a moratorium on elk, mule deer and other cervids. The legislation will make permanent an emergency ban imposed earlier this year. The legislation now goes to the Mississippi house for consideration.

The recent budget passed by the U. S. Congress included funding for a new Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. With the current interest in CWD and other diseases in wildlife, Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska expressed the hope that this new unit would concentrate on wildlife disease issues to help answer questions for management of these diseases.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has reported that the results of the first 298 deer collected during the fall hunting season were negative. The results of an additional 250 animals are pending. The negative results to date are encouraging.

The Wisconsin DNR reports three more cases of CWD in whitetail deer in the area where it has been found previously. This brings to 58 the number of positives from 13,977 samples tested. There are approximately 24,790 more tests pending. The infection rate around Mt. Horeb remains at approximately 2%.