CWD UPDATE February 1, 2005

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reports that a total of 29 additional positives were detected during the 2004 hunting seasons. Of these, 26 occurred in the endemic area in the Nebraska panhandle. New locations included Hall, Cherry, and Arthur Counties. Hall County represents a movement of approximately 250 miles from any know positive and is not located near any captive facility. The Commission collected an additional 67 deer from the area without detecting any more positives. The Cherry County positive is approximately 50 miles from any known location and is also not near any captive facilities. The Arthur County positive is only approximately 20 miles from previous positives. The Commission will be collecting additional positives from Cherry and Arthur Counties in the near future. South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks report testing 687 elk, 727 mule deer, and 1,288 white-tailed deer this past year. Of these, one elk, one mule deer, and two white-tailed deer tested positive. All of the positives came from Fall River County where positives had been detected previously. They still have a few pending samples at SDSU.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife reports that a mule deer buck, harvested by a hunter on Fort Collins, south of Colorado Springs, has tested positive for CWD. This is the farthest south on the Front Range that CWD has been detected. Statewide, 12,794 elk, deer and moose have been tested since the 2004 hunting season began last August. Of those, 150 animals have tested positive.

Wyoming Game and Fish report that CWD has spread into new deer hunt areas in Johnson County in northern Wyoming as well as new areas around the Snowy Range in the southern part of the state. Edwards said an elk tested positive for the brain-wasting disease northwest of the town of Elk Mountain. The elk was harvested near Elk Mountain and was a surprise as it is well outside the areas in the Laramie Range where elk are known to be infected. The two new deer cases, between Kaycee and Buffalo represents another jump for the disease.

A white-tailed deer that died on a Crawford County, Wisconsin, farm has tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The facility has been quarantined and officials are conducting trace outs and trace backs for all animals on the property. In an unrelated case, a deer shot on a Portage County facility also tested positive for CWD and this property is also under quarantine. In all, 20 herds in Wisconsin are under quarantines related to CWD. Ten of those herds are related to on-farm CWD cases. The rest are herds that may have been exposed to CWD. To date, 28 farm-raised animals in Wisconsin have tested positive for CWD on seven farms, out of more than 10,000 tested. One of the infected animals was an elk; the rest have been white-tailed deer.

The Wisconsin DNR now has information on the Second International CWD Conference up on their web site. Information on this meeting, to be held in Madison, can be accessed here.