CWD UPDATE 69 January 11, 2006

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reports that 15 positives have been detected out of 7,389 samples collected during the 2005 firearm season. All positives were in the endemic area of the Nebraska Panhandle with no new locations detected. The positives were all adult deer; 10 mule deer bucks, 4 mule deer does, and 1 whitetail buck. Ages ranged from 1.5 to 5.5 years old. Prevalence rates in the Panhandle dropped from 1.8 percent in 2004 to 1.35 percent in 2005. No free ranging elk tested positive. Resident hunters harvested all positive deer. This year’s effort brings the total number of animals tested statewide to 24,849 deer and 175 elk since 1997.

Illinois DNR reports that they have identified 15 additional cases of CWD so far this year in the northern part of the state from about 1,800 completed test results. Two cases have been identified in Ogle County to the southwest of the previously identified CWD area. Other counties with positives this year include Winnebago (6), Boone (5), DeKalb (1), and McHenry (1). The total number of cases detected in Illinois to date is 111.

South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks report that they have collected a total of 2,979 samples so far for this testing cycle. These include 741 elk with 550 not positive, 188 pending and 3 positives; 746 mule deer with 551 not positive, 192 pending, and 3 positive; and 1,492 whitetails with 1, 144 not positive, 347 pending, and 1 positive. The positive elk were 1 male from Fall River County, 1 male from Pennington County, and 1 female from Wind Cave National Park. The mule deer were all males from Fall River County and the whitetail was a male from Custer County. One mule deer and one whitetail deer were collected due to reports of exhibiting clinical signs of CWD and one elk (Wind Cave) was collected for exhibiting clinical signs. To date, South Dakota has found 40 cases of CWD (28 deer and 12 elk) in free ranging animals since 1997. Wind Cave National Park accounts for 13 of these animals (5 elk and 8 deer). A total of 12,032 free ranging deer and elk have been tested in the state since the inception of testing.

The West Virginia DNR reports that they collected 998 samples from hunter harvested deer in Hampshire County during the time period of November 21-23, 2005. When laboratory results were returned, no additional positives were detected. To date, since September 2005, West Virginia has confirmed 5 cases of CWD in free-roaming deer; 1 adult buck and 4 adult does; all whitetail.

Although not a report on CWD, the Minnesota DNR has reported a presumptive positive finding of bovine tuberculosis in a free-roaming deer harvested in Roseau County. The animal was harvested in an area where several cattle herds have been diagnosed with bovine TB this year. In collaboration with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Health, the DNR is developing strategies for testing additional deer in the vicinity this winter and next fall. The sample is currently being cultured at NVSL and final results should be available by mid-January.

The folks at Wisconsin DNR must have had some slack time at check stations, as they have penned a new song, set to the music of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

The 12 Days of Sampling On the first day of sampling, Rebecca gave to me:

A head in a plastic crate 2nd – 2 scalpel blades 3rd – 3 grapefruit knives 4th – 4 sample bags 5th – 5 golden Twinkies 6th – 6 squeegies squeeging 7th – 7 sliders sliding 8th – 8 bloody aprons 9th – 9 knives a cutting 10th – 10 tyvek moon suits 11th – 11 nodes a gleaming 12th – 12 tweezers tweezing

The Wisconsin DNR did find time to report the results of their sampling efforts to date. They have collected 23,185 samples to date with 12,074 results returned. They have detected a total of 81 positives with 9 of them in the Herd Reduction Zone and the remainder in the Disease Elimination Zone. Thanks to Alan Crossley for the info.

The Institute of Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, Germany has reported the results of CWD testing of cervids in Germany. Their project spanned the years 2002 to 2005 and resulted in the testing of 4,255 roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), 1,445 red deer (Cervus elaphus elaphus), and 1,604 fallow deer (Dama dama). Results were all not detected, indicating that if any TSE exists in German cervids, it is at a very low rate.

Saskatchewan Environment received 4552 hunter killed deer samples for CWD testing during the 2005 hunting seasons. Testing has been completed on just over 80% of the samples. To date, 28 of the tested samples were positive for CWD – 6 white-tailed deer and 22 mule deer. All positives were from designated herd reduction areas – 5 from the Nipawin area, 1 from the Bronson Forest, 1 from the Manito Sandhills and 21 from the Saskatchewan Landing area.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation reports that no additional cases of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) have been detected in their state to date despite intensified surveillance efforts. Since April, 2005, over 8,000 samples have been collected throughout the state including 2,075 samples from the Oneida-Madison County CWD Containment Area with no new cases of CWD detected – the only positive wild deer remain the 2 collected last April. Testing of all upstate surveillance samples is completed. Additional samples will be collected from Long Island through the close of the deer-hunting season there on January 31 and throughout the winter statewide from deer exhibiting clinical symptoms.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department reports testing a total of 4,261 deer, elk, and moose samples for CWD. Of these; 75 mule deer, 12 white-tailed deer, and 6 elk tested positive. A new endemic area was located near Thermopolis in the central part of the state. A total of 7 positive deer from 227 samples represents a 3% surveillance rate, suggesting that CWD has been present in that area for a number of years.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife reports finding CWD in three new DAUs, representing southern and southeastern extensions of the know range of CWD in that state. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources reports testing 2,400 samples this year. A total of 8 new cases were detected in mule deer. The first was a new location in Daggett County in northeastern Utah, approximately 20 miles to the north of positives previously detected in the Vernal area. Two more positives were found in Central Utah approximately 20 miles north of Fountain Green where a positive was detected in 2004. The remaining 5 positives were from the La Sal Mountains in southeastern Utah where it has been detected before. This brings the number of positives in mule deer in Utah to 26. No elk have tested positive in this state.