Latest News & Updates on CWD Updated December 2, 2004

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department reports finding CWD for the first time on the east slope of the Big Horn Mountains in the north-central part of the state. One whitetail buck and one mule deer buck from the area have tested positive for the disease. Officials are encouraging hunters in the area to submit the heads of their harvested animals for testing. If enough animals are not tested from the hunting season, agency personnel may collect additional animals to assist in determining the prevalence of the disease in that area. So far this hunting season, Wyoming officials have tested approximately 3,269 deer and elk with 70 positives being found. Besides the positives in the Big Horn mountains, 2 other new areas were found to have the illness present: southwest of Laramie and near Elk Mountain. The government of South Korea reports finding additional cases of CWD in farmed cervids in that country. The latest finding is from four elk from a farm in Milyang, South Gyeongsang province. Government officials have depopulated the remaining 78 elk present on the farm. The CWD-infected elk were the offspring of animals raised on a farm in the southern Kyungsang province after being brought in from Canada, the Agricultural Ministry said in a statement. The first case of CWD in South Korea was in 2001 and was found in an elk imported from Canada.

The Minnesota DNR reports that they have collected 12,500 samples from hunters for CWD testing this year. To date, they have received results from 682 tests; all results were CWD not detected.

The South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks reports collecting 2,001 samples to date with collections continuing. All results to date are not detected on 476 elk, 83 mule deer and 258 white-tailed deer. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission collected 5,735 samples during the recently completed firearms deer season. Testing is now underway at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. Results will be reported, as they are available.

According to reports from the Wisconsin DNR, as of Nov 30, approximately 11,500 heads had been collected in the CWD management zones. Sixteen new CWD-positive deer have been found in 2004, which brings the total number of positive deer to 339. Updated figures are expected daily as work continues and new totals will be continually posted on the DNR website. This is probably common knowledge but Dr. Gary Wolf has left the CWD Alliance project leader position to assume the duties of Executive Director of Vital Ground, a land trust whose focus is the protection of critical grizzly bear habitat on private lands. Gary was key in developing the CWD Alliance and their various activities that greatly helped in getting the proper message out to the public reference CWD. Best of luck to Gary in his new position. When a new project leader for the Alliance is selected, I will let everyone know via these updates.

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