The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is looking to Florida’s sportsmen for help in monitoring for chronic wasting disease (CWD). CWD is a progressive, fatal disease that wildlife authorities have detected in mule deer, white-tailed deer and Rocky Mountain elk in captive herds and in the wild in some midwestern and western states.
The FWC is urging hunters and others to report sightings of sick or skinny-looking deer. People can report such deer by calling (866) CWD-WATCH, toll-free. Wildlife biologists will respond to calls and will collect deer tissues if necessary for testing. Tests must take place within 48 hours of an animal’s death to yield reliable results.
CWD WATCH is part of a comprehensive monitoring program to make sure CWD is not already in Florida and that the disease does not spread to the state.
More information about CWD is available online at www.MyFWC.com/cwd. The site also offers links to human and wildlife health agencies with more in-depth information about the disease.