CWD UPDATE 81 November 14, 2006

USDA-APHIS-Veterinary Services has published a request for comments on the three petitions received from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the U. S. Animal Health Association, and the National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials protesting portions of their rule on the interstate transportation of captive cervids and the federal herd-monitoring program. The notice was in the Federal Register of November 3, 2006 and can be accessed here. It is very important that all interested parties review this notice and submit comments. The two main issues are the preemption of state authority and allowing movement across state lines after only one year of monitoring, gradually increasing to 5 years.

An elk killed recently in the Shirley Mountains northwest of Medicine Bow, Wyoming has tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The hunter-killed elk comes from Hunt Area 16 where CWD had been detected in deer previously, although this is the first elk from that hunt unit to test positive. Elk in two other elk hunt areas immediately to the east and south of Hunt Area 16 have tested positive for the disease in past years. The Colorado Division of Wildlife reports finding two additional positive moose. The two bull moose were harvested legally in northern Colorado near Glendevey recently. One of the moose was from the same herd that the first positive moose was from. This brings the total wild moose positive for CWD to 3 out of 528 tested in Colorado.

Results for CWD testing in South Dakota from July 1 to November 13, 2006 have been reported by South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks. The samples tested and results are; 444 elk sampled–438 results returned as NOT Positive–4 results pending (2 POSITIVE ELK FOUND), 111 mule deer sampled–26 results returned as NOT Positive–85 results pending, 402 white-tailed deer–44 results returned as NOT Positive– 358 results pending The two positive elk were both female and hunter harvested. Both were from Custer County, one being taken in Custer State Park. To date, South Dakota has found 49 cases of CWD (32 deer and 17 elk) in free ranging deer and elk since testing began in 1997. Wind Cave National Park accounts for 16 of these animals (8 elk, 8 deer). A total of 13,262 wild deer and elk have been tested for CWD since 1997.

Wisconsin DNR reports on results to date for this years testing. During the fall hunting season (still in progress), they have collected 5,429 samples and received results from 3,456 of these. There were 6 positive in this number, 4 from the disease eradication zone and 2 from the herd reduction zone. This brings their totals to 105,594 animals sampled with 657 positive.

The New Mexico Game and Fish Department reports that they have detected CWD in one mule deer on the Stallion site of White Sands Missile Range. This location is approximately 100 miles north of the main infection area near the Missile Range headquarters and 75 miles north of the focus of infection in the southern Sacramento Mountains. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department reports that a white-tailed deer harvested in Hunt Area 9 near Newcastle has tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The disease had not previously been found in deer Hunt Area 9. The deer was harvested on a ranch southeast of Newcastle in early October. The location is approximately 18 miles from where the disease has been found in South Dakota in the same drainage.

OK, this is it, my very last and final CWD update. My last day of work is next Wednesday, November 22, 2006. I will be enjoying the mountains of northern New Mexico and trying my hand at fishing and hunting again. I have been blessed by my association with the brightest and best in our business and will miss the friendships and camaraderie from times past. Bryan Richards, CWD Project Leader for the National Wildlife Health Lab in Madison, Wisconsin has agreed to take over the responsibility of issuing these updates. Lets all help Bryan out by providing him with information on what is going on in your neck of the woods as concerns CWD so he can get the information out to others. Bryan’s email is [email protected]. If you need to talk to Bryan, he can be reached at 608-270-2485. Thanks Bryan for taking on this job, and thanks to each and every one reading this for their help and friendship during these interesting years. I will plan on keeping in touch through the updates and will be doing a little consulting, so might see some of you at future meetings (if it doesn’t interfere with my hunting and fishing). Goodbye and God Bless.