Samples taken from North Dakota deer during the 2012 hunting season have all tested negative for chronic wasting disease, according to Dr. Dan Grove, wildlife veterinarian for the State Game and Fish Department.
Last fall, samples for CWD testing were taken from more than 1,300 deer harvested by hunters in the western third of the state.
“As always, the success of our surveillance program could not be accomplished without the cooperative efforts of hunters, meat processors and taxidermists,” Grove said.
Since the Game and Fish Department’s sampling efforts began in 2002, more than 23,000 deer, elk and moose have tested negative for CWD. Three mule deer, one each in 2009, 2010 and 2011, taken from unit 3F2 in southwestern North Dakota tested positive. All three were within 15 miles of each other.
The hunter-harvested surveillance program annually collects samples taken from hunter-harvested deer in specific regions of the state. The Game and Fish Department also has a targeted surveillance program that is an ongoing, year-round effort to test animals found dead or sick.
CWD affects the nervous system of members of the deer family and is always fatal. Scientists have found no evidence that CWD can be transmitted naturally to humans or livestock.