Frankfort, KY, May 30, 2003 — Results from testing 2, 465 hunter-harvested deer and elk for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) confirm there are no signs of this fatal disease in Kentucky’s herds.
“All samples came back negative,” said Jonathan Day, forest systems coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR).
“We felt confident CWD had not gotten into our wild deer and elk herds, and the results of our sampling from animals harvested last season confirmed our belief,” Day said.
Samples from deer from 113 counties were submitted for testing as surveillance of Kentucky’s herd. The test for CWD is not a food safety test. It simply indicates whether CWD is present. The KDFWR plans to continue monitoring the deer and elk resource in light of the recent spread of CWD to 12 states and 2 Canadian provinces, likely through the transport of captive cervids (deer species). The agency will again request that hunters donate the head of harvested deer for testing during portions of the 2003-04 season.
The ban on transporting live deer into Kentucky from other states remains in effect to minimize the chance that CWD gets established in Kentucky. There is no live-animal test for CWD. CWD is always fatal and there is no vaccine.
The spread of CWD has generated new laws concerning the importing of deer meat and trophy parts into Kentucky from states where the disease exists. More information can be found on the KDFWR website, fw.ky.gov.