WATERBURY, VT – Chronic wasting disease (CWD) was not detected in any of the Vermont deer that were tested recently, according to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. Tissue samples were collected by Fish and Wildlife staff at meat processing facilities last November and sent to an out-of-state laboratory for examination.

“We received word from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory with the U.S. Department of Agriculture that CWD was not detected in any of the 251 specimens submitted,” said John Buck, who chairs Vermont’s deer management team.

The tissue samples were collected from 251 deer taken by hunters in the 2002 hunting season.

“This is very good news for Vermont,” said Buck. “But, because of the lengthy incubation period of the disease and unknown methods of transmission and transportation, it will be necessary to continue with this level of surveillance and be vigilant in the future.”

“Test results from neighboring states will be arriving soon, and their results will influence the level of surveillance and protection we will need for Vermont.”

CWD is a fatal disease of the brain and nervous system in deer and elk. It has been found in farmed and wild deer and elk in several western and mid-western states and two western Canadian provinces. Biologists point out that if CWD moves into Vermont it would be extremely difficult to eradicate.

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