CWD UPDATE July 25, 2003

Two female mule deer found dead at Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota have tested positive for CWD. Three deer have been found, the third was too decomposed to test. This brings the South Dakota total to 11 deer and one elk testing positive for CWD. South Dakota state officials and the National Park Service are accessing the findings and continuing to monitor deer and elk in the park and other locations.

The USDA has issued clarification of its ban on the importation of ruminants and ruminant parts as it applies to wild taken trophies by U. S. hunters. Basically, all parts of a trophy except the meat of the animal is allowed into the U. S. If the skull plate, antlers or skin have excess meat or tissue attached, they will be barred at the border from entry.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed scrapie on several farms in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The center of the outbreak seems to be near Lloydminster in western Saskatchewan. The reason that this has hit the national news and has been covered extensively by the Canadian press is that it follows on the heels of the BSE case in Alberta and is in the same general location as Saskatchewan’s CWD cases in free-roaming deer. They are also continuing the slaughter of sheep in Quebec where over 21,922 sheep have been killed since 1998 in an attempt to eradicate scrapie in that province.

South Korean police have arrested a man for selling banned Canadian antlers in South Korea. Over seven tons of Canadian antlers were imported and sold as coming from North Korea since Canadian antlers have been banned since 2000 due to the CWD scare. Investigation revealed that a Canadian antler-trading agency had sent a letter to antler import companies in Korea stating that shipping the banned antlers through a third country such as the U.S., China or Hong Kong was a way to get the antlers into South Korea. The investigation is continuing.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources reports that the results of CWD tests on 436 deer from the fall 2002 hunting season failed to find the presence of the disease in that state. The agency will continue to monitor for CWD for a minimum of four more years.

Canadian cervid farmers have asked the federal government to take the Republic of South Korea to the World Trade Organization to force it to reopen its borders to Canadian velvet or immature antlers. The Canadian Cervid Council claims that Canada has lost $32 million in sales to South Korea since the ban was imposed in 2000 due to fears over Chronic Wasting Disease.

The House of Representatives has passed the Agriculture appropriations bill. It contains $16,815,000 to APHIS for CWD. $1,500,000 of this is earmarked for Wisconsin. The Senate Agriculture appropriations bill has passed the Senate Appropriations Committee and contains $14,836,000 to APHIS for CWD with $2,000,000 being earmarked for Wisconsin. Other funding bills in Congress for CWD include H.R. 2057 which authorizes appropriations of $27,000,000; H.R. 2430 which authorizes appropriations of $21,000,000 and amends the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act to promote research, monitoring and outreach; H.R. 2431 which establishes a 17 member National CWD Task Force; S. 1036 which authorizes appropriations of $24,500,000; H.R. 2636 which authorizes appropriations of $20,500,000 to states and tribes from Secretary of Interior and S. 1366 which is the same as H.R. 2636.

Bovine tuberculosis tests on elk in Riding Mountain National Park in Canada have confirmed TB in 2 elk and probable in 8 additional elk. Estimates say TB is probably present in 1 to 5 percent of the park’s elk population. Officials want to reduce the 2700 elk to 2500 animals in an attempt to control the disease. Earlier in 2003, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed TB in 3 cattle herds located near the park and a fourth herd was considered exposed.