After testing more than 530 white-tailed deer for Chronic Wasting Disease in Texas, Texas Parks and Wildlife said all the tests have been negative.
“We’re feeling pretty good about that,” said Executive Director Robert L. Cook. Nearly three times that many deer have been collected for testing, Cook said.
Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal brain infection that causes deer to become disoriented, quit feeding and eventually starve to death. It was first identified about 40 years ago in Colorado.
TPWD Wildlife Division staff said early last year they feared that CWD could have been imported into Texas in deer bound for private breeding programs. All imports were stopped for a time while the department worked with the Texas Animal Health Commission to develop a testing procedure.
The tests will continue as the department tries to test as many as 2,000 whitetails per year for several years to determine whether the disease actually is active in Texas.