CWD UPDATE 68 December 23, 2005

Governor Robert L. Ehrlich of Maryland has granted an emergency exemption to Maryland’s strict laws regulating the importation of cervids. After appeals from grade school children, the Governor issued a proclamation pre-empting the law; stating that “All flying reindeer, including one with a red nose that glows, are permitted to enter the state of Maryland’s airspace during the very late hours of December 25.” Without the proclamation, one Mr. Santa Claus would have been subject to arrest and fines if he crossed the Maryland state line with Dasher, Prancer, Blitzen, and their buddies.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission collected 7,381 samples during the 2005 rifle deer season for CWD sampling. Of these, 15 tested positive, all from the endemic area in the Panhandle of the state. This is down from the 29 positives found last year during the hunting seasons. An encouraging note is that no new counties or locations were found with positive CWD animals and no additional positives were found in the areas where we had “sparks” last year.

Wisconsin DNR reports a total of 50 positives so far this year from 10,005 returned results. A total of 21,811 samples have been submitted to the lab with additional samples being collected at this time. Seven of the positives have come from the Herd Reduction Zone with the remainder coming from the Disease Eradication Zone.

The Illinois DNR reports nine additional cases of CWD in the northern part of their state so far this fall. This brings the total number of cases detected to 30. The current distribution of CWD in Illinois consists primarily of a core area northeast of Rockford in which the disease is most common, with scattered cases occurring infrequently at distances up to about 20 miles around it. There were two cases in McHenry County in 2002 but they have yet to find additional positives in that area.

Saskatchewan Environment reports they have now detected 14 new cases of CWD during the 2005 hunt season. All are in previously designated herd reduction areas- 1 female white-tailed deer in herd reduction area 50, one mule deer female in herd reduction area 47 and 1 male and 11 female mule deer in herd reduction area 14. There are several hundred samples waiting to be tested and the hunt season does not end in the herd reduction areas until December 17th.