CWD UPDATE DECEMBER 13, 2002

An escaped, ear-tagged white tail deer from Walworth County, Wisconsin has tested positive for CWD. The animal is a 1 ½ year old buck that had escaped in March of 2002. DNR conservation wardens killed it on October 22. The DNR has stated that their CWD science team is evaluating this latest happening and will be making recommendations on management actions to take in the area soon. The facility the animal is the same facility that was recently depopulated as reported below.

The Wisconsin DNR is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement reference their CWD management plan. Drafts may be available by late winter. This compilation of data and literature should be a tremendous help to other states developing management plans or actions reference CWD and other diseases.

The captive cervid facility in Walworth County, Wisconsin that experienced a confirmed case of CWD in their white tail deer has been depopulated. State officials removed 118 deer from this facility and all animals will be sampled for CWD. An additional farm, in Portage County, will have its approximately 140 deer destroyed by the end of the year. A third farm, also in Walworth County, will be depopulated also, although CWD has not been found on the premises. This third facility did conduct transactions with both positive facilities and will be included in the depopulation efforts as a precautionary measure.

The National Wildlife Federation has issued “A Guide to Reporting on Chronic Wasting Disease”. This is a media guide that attempts to present the proper facts and contacts for the media to get the story straight about this disease. Although the document has a couple of factual errors; lists Alberta as having confirmed CWD in free-roaming populations as well as captive and states that the 50% infection rate in a Nebraska confined deer herd as elk, it should provide a good resource for the media and those of us working with the media. Additionally, the picture caption on page 3 should identify the animal as an elk, not a deer. To obtain a copy, contact the NWF.

The implementation documents for the National CWD plan are now available. Although the document is not the “official” stance of either USDA or DOI, they represent the best thinking available from these agencies and the states on actions needed to address the CWD issue. The documents can be downloaded from either the CWD Alliance web site at http://cwd-info.org/docs/National%20CWD%20Plan%20-%20Implementation%20Document.doc or the NGPC web site at http://www.ngpc.state.ne.us/wildlife/cwd/CWDimplement.html.