CWD UPDATE 66 November 21, 2005

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has started testing hunter-harvested moose for CWD. This is in response to the positive moose reported by the Colorado Division of Wildlife last month. To date, North Dakota has tested over 4,000 deer and 80 elk for the disease and has not found it in their state.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources reports that two additional mule deer have tested positive for CWD. The first deer was a yearling buck taken near the south end of Flaming Gorge Reservoir. This is the first CWD-positive deer found in Daggett County. Other CWD-positive deer have been found in the past just 20 miles to the south, near Vernal. The second deer to test positive was a mature buck taken on the LaSal Mountains in southeastern Utah, which is an area where CWD has been found in the past. The latest finds bring to 20 the number of deer that have tested positive for CWD since the disease was first found in Utah in February 2003. Fourteen of the 20 deer have come from the LaSal Mountain area.

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a proposed rule concerning substances prohibited from use in animal food or feed. The proposed rule would ban the use of certain cattle origin materials in feed for all animals, not just ruminants as the current rule stands. The deadline for comments is December 20, 2005 and the proposed rule can be found at: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20051800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2005/05-20196.htm

British scientists have discovered that sheep can pass BSE from mother to lamb. Such “vertical” transmission of the disease had been suspected but never proven. The same research team will attempt to determine whether “horizontal” transmission also can occur among sheep, as is the case with scrapie.

South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks report the results of testing between July 1 and November 1, 2005. Of 521 elk sampled, 395 were returned not detected with 126 results pending. 30 mule deer have been sampled with 14 not detected, 16 pending, and 1 positive. 113 whitetails were sampled with 54 not detected, 59 pending, and 1 positive. The positive mule deer was a male from Fall River County and the whitetail was a male from Custer County. Both positives were collected for exhibiting the clinical signs of CWD and were tested. To date, South Dakota has found 35 cases of CWD (26 deer and 9 elk) since testing began in 1997. Wind Cave National Park accounts for 12 of these animals (4 elk, 8 deer). A total of 9,718 wild deer and elk have been tested for CWD since 1997.

A 7 1/2-year-old Hampshire County West Virginia whitetail doe that was found alive but weak and disoriented three weeks ago was confirmed Friday to have chronic wasting disease, bringing to five the number of infected deer within the county. The location is seven miles from the location of the first positive deer, a road kill near Slanesville, and three miles from the scene of the other diseased deer that were later discovered after agency shooting teams killed and checked more than 200 animals. It is also just four miles from the Virginia state line.