CWD UPDATE April 1, 2005

One positive case of CWD has been confirmed in a captive deer from New York’s Oneida County. The animal was a six-year-old white-tailed doe. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has quarantined the index herd and will depopulate and test all deer on the premises. Other herds associated with the positive herd have also been quarantined. The Department of Environmental Conservation will conduct intensive monitoring of the wild deer population in the area to determine if it has spread outside the pen. New York State has approximately 433 facilities with around 9,600 deer and elk in captivity.

In recognition of the numerous outstanding contributions made by Tom Thorne and Beth Williams, the Wyoming Game & Fish Commission has renamed the Sybille Wildlife Research Center to the Tom Thorne/Beth Williams Wildlife Research Center at Sybille. They also renamed the adjacent Johnson Creek Wildlife Habitat Management Area to the Tom Thorne/Beth Williams Wildlife Habitat Management Area. New signs will be erected on site that recognize Tom and Beth’s life, career, and contributions to wildlife. A dedication ceremony will be held at the Thorne/Williams Wildlife Research Center with a tentative date of Sept. 7, 2005. Tom and Beth will also be honored at the 2nd annual Outdoor Hall of Fame on Sept. 9, 2005 in Casper.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife reports that they have completed testing on 12,901 hunter submitted deer, elk, and moose as of February 8, 2005. Samples included 5,427 mule deer, 203 white-tailed deer, 7,170 elk, and 102 moose. CWD has been detected in 154 animals; 127 mule deer, 3 white-tailed deer, and 24 elk. Thirty-four mule deer and 15 elk were from outside the “established” area of northeastern Colorado. Although there were new Game Management Units with CWD, all were within Data Analysis Units where the disease had been found before. To date, CWD has not been detected in free-ranging moose.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has culled additional deer from the areas in Hall, Cherry, and Arthur where new cases were found during the 2004 deer hunting season. They collected 47 deer from Cherry County with no positives found, 49 from Arthur County with 1 additional positive, and 67 from Hall County with no additional positives. Additionally, 58 were collected from the area east of Alliance where CWD has been known to occur for the last two years and one additional positive was found there. The total count for positives in Nebraska for this year (July 2004 to date) is now 31 animals (7 white-tails and 24 mule deer).

USDA-APHIS-Veterinary Services has announced the availability of grants to states for CWD work. This is a continuation of the program initiated two years ago to assist the states in their efforts for surveillance, monitoring, and management of the disease. The three tiers of States will be the same as in the past: Tier 1 – States with known occurrences of CWD in free-ranging cervids as of January 1, 2005; Tier 2 – States adjacent to Tier 1 States or States with known CWD occurrences in farmed or captive cervids as of January 1, 2005; and Tier 3 – All other States. Tier 1 states are eligible for $280,000 each; tier 2, $90,000; and tier 3, $54,000. Grant proposals are due electronically through the state Area Veterinarian in Charge by May 2, 2005.

Don’t forget the upcoming International CWD Symposium, to be held in Madison, Wisconsin July 12-14. The planning committee has been working hard on this meeting and it should prove to be very interesting and informative. One of the speakers will be Karen Fernie from the Institute of Animal Health in Edinburgh, Scotland reporting on her organizations research into prion inactivation. Additional information can be found at http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/wildlife/whealth/issues/CWD/conference.htm