The final numbers are in for the 2002-2003 fiscal year and there have been no positive test results for CWD in Florida.

A total of 676 free-ranging deer and 14 captive deer have tested negative for CWD. There were 658 deer tested through the state’s active surveillance program. These were deer obtained from hunter check stations, private hunt clubs, and herd health checks. IHC testing was conducted on all samples. About half were submitted to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Athens, Georgia and about half went to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Diagnostic (DOACS) Lab in Kissimmee, Florida. Samples from 18 deer were collected and tested through the state’s passive surveillance program. These are deer that were exhibiting CWD-like symptoms or died from unknown causes and were submitted to the DOACS lab for full necropsies.

FWC expects to collect a similar number of samples this hunting season beginning in September 2003.