Test results for chronic wasting disease on 1,536 wild deer and 31 elk collected from North Dakota hunters during the 2005 hunting season are negative, according to Dorothy Fecske, State Game and Fish Department wildlife disease biologist.

Samples for CWD testing were sent to the Wyoming State Veterinary Lab last December, and Game and Fish officials were notified of the results late Wednesday afternoon. “Hearing this same news every year never gets old,” Fecske said, while mentioning that monitoring efforts and support for CWD research will continue in the future.

Samples in 2005 were collected from hunter-harvested deer taken in 25 deer hunting units covering southwestern North Dakota and the eastern third of the state. “As in years past, the efforts from all those involved, including hunters, meat processors, department staff and other agencies have been tremendous,” Fecske said. “All the volunteer help justifies how important this issue is to everyone.”

Since 2002, more than 5,500 North Dakota deer and 110 elk have tested negative for CWD. To date, CWD has not been diagnosed in wild or farmed deer or elk in North Dakota.

Chronic wasting disease affects the nervous system of white-tailed deer, mule deer and elk and is always fatal. Scientists have found no evidence that CWD can be transmitted naturally to humans or livestock.

For more information contact Dorothy Fecske, ND Game and Fish Wildlife Disease Biologist, 701-328-6302.