CWD UPDATE November 9, 2004

Five additional red deer from the facility in Arizona that had the inconclusive CWD positive have been tested and the prion disease was not detected in the additional animals. Investigation into this occurrence is ongoing.

Sixteen University of Alberta researchers with a combined total of $41 million in current research funds have banded together to form the Alberta Center for Prions and Protein Folding Diseases. The plans are for the researchers to perform work related to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Syndrome, and Chronic Wasting Disease. The researchers will cover everything from basic research, to environmental risk management for detection and eradication of prions in the environment and wastewater management. Some of them are already working on prions and protein folding, and they will expand and integrate their research activities.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife has reported on test results from the first round of tests for this fall’s hunting season. Test results for samples collected August 28 thru October 29 have confirmed 24 positive animals from 6,197 deer, elk, and moose heads submitted. Species breakdown is 2,669 mule deer (17 positive), 72 white-tailed deer (0 positive), 3,356 elk (7 positive), and 100 moose (0 positive). Three of the mule deer and 5 of the elk were outside the established area and represent new GMUs for those species.

Twelve white-tailed deer and nine elk held captive on a Walworth County, Wisconsin game farm have been destroyed and tested for CWD. The herd had been under quarantine since September 2002 because Wisconsin animal health officials linked it to animals in two CWD-infected herds. Recently two animals from this herd also tested positive for CWD. Additionally, a facility near Beloit, Wisconsin had 52 animals destroyed due to a buck with CWD being traced to this farm. Test results from the Beloit heard have been reported as not detected and test results from the Walworth County farm are still pending. This makes five captive cervid herds destroyed in Wisconsin due to CWD with seven other farms under quarantine.

A whitetail deer shot on a Portage County hunting preserve has tested positive for CWD, causing the suspect farm from which the animal originated to be placed under quarantine. The source farm for the deer has also been placed under quarantine. There are currently 17 farms in Wisconsin under quarantine due to CWD.