CWD UPDATE 73 March 28, 2006

Minnesota reports another captive facility with a CWD positive. The Board of Animal Health reports that a 10-year-old female white-tailed deer from a captive facility in Lac qui Parle County has tested positive for CWD. The positive test was confirmed by NVSL. Lac qui Parle County is located in southwestern Minnesota. The Minnesota DNR will conduct a local deer survey to determine the number of wild deer within the area and conduct opportunistic sampling of road kills and other carcasses found. Next fall, a concentrated effort to collect samples from the vicinity will be undertaken. Minnesota’s first positive CWD captive facility was in Aitkin County in 2003, which was closely followed by a positive on a captive facility in Stearns County the same year. To date, Minnesota has tested over 28,000 wild deer without detecting the disease in free roaming animals.

The Hall farm in Portage County, Wisconsin has been depopulated. This is the captive facility that has been positive for a few years but depopulation was delayed by legal action. The breeding pen depopulation removed 76 does and yearlings. Laboratory results showed 60 of the 76 were positive for CWD, for a record infection rate of 78.9%. It would have been interesting to know the infection rate at the time of first discovery of CWD on the premises when depopulation was first proposed. The Wisconsin DNR has been issuing permits to landowners within a 2-½ mile radius of the farm for shooting deer to determine how much it has spread to the free-roaming deer in the vicinity. Other than this farm, Wisconsin has found CWD in 12 white-tailed deer and 1 elk on six other captive facilities.

They dug up the BSE cow in Alabama and aged it at over 10 years old, therefore making it born prior to the ban on meat and bone meal in cattle feed. It has also been reported that the animal was not a purebred Santa Gertrudis as first reported but a cross between a couple of breeds. The APHIS is continuing their epidemiological investigation into this case.

Although not directly tied to CWD, the first rough draft of an Initiative for A Healthy United States Fish and Wildlife Resource was unveiled at the recent North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. The International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Fish and Wildlife Health Committee had appointed a work group to develop the plan and seek input from partners. In Columbus, Ohio, this work group meet with representatives from several federal agencies to discuss the plan and gain input from their perspective on the draft outline. Additional meetings will be held in conjunction with the regional associations as spring and summer progresses and a final draft will be presented to the State Wildlife Directors at the annual meeting of the International in September.

Wisconsin DNR Reports that they have collected a total of 24,515 deer for CWD testing so far. The results from 24,438 of these are in with a total of 164 positives. Fourteen of the positives are from the Herd Reduction Zone while the rest are within the Disease Eradication Zone. Since 2002 they have sampled 99,874 deer and have results back from 99,756, with 634 positives, 18 of those in the Herd Reduction Zone.