CWD UPDATE May 20, 2005

The New York DEC reports a second free-roaming positive white-tailed deer from the culling operation near the positive captive facility in Oneida County. This positive was within a mile of the previous free-roaming positive. This was a three-year-old female. The sampling effort resulted in 290 samples of wild deer from Oneida County, two from neighboring Madison County, and 25 wild deer from the Town of Arietta, Hamilton County. DEC and Department of Agriculture and Markets will conduct additional outreach and continue to aggressively pursue inspection and enforcement across the State.

A voter-passed initiative imposing restrictions on game farms in Montana did not result in an illegal taking of property from owners of such farms, a judge concluded Monday.

The government does not have to compensate owners because the 2000 law did not actually take away their property and was part of a legitimate state effort to prevent the spread of disease from game farm animals to wildlife, said District Judge Dorothy McCarter of Helena. Alberta Fish and Wildlife recently implemented a population reduction program in response to the finding of more CWD in last year’s hunter samples from Saskatchewan. Of the 66 cases of CWD documented in wild deer in Saskatchewan, five of them occur in a local population that migrates across Alberta’s eastern border. Between March 11 and 22, 2005, Alberta Fish and Wildlife targeted four winter herds in greatest proximity to the five positives in Saskatchewan. The target herds in Alberta were successfully reduced by approximately 33%, using government staff for the collections. CWD was not detected in any of the 485 samples collected. In addition, the entire Alberta hunter samples from three targeted surveillance areas last fall, approximately 700-800 samples, failed to detect CWD in the Province of Alberta, which remains without a documented case in wild deer or elk.

Officials from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department report that test results for CWD on more than 1,900 wild deer and 26 elk collected from hunters during the 2004 hunting season are negative. Samples from hunter-harvested deer were taken from animals last fall in six of the eight CWD surveillance units in the state. The six units cover most of the state, except for a couple of units in the southeast where sampling in previous years achieved the statistical quota. Since 2002, more than 4,000 deer and 80 elk have tested negative for CWD. To date, CWD has not been diagnosed in wild or farmed deer or elk in North Dakota.