CWD on the Rise in Nebraska

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In most states that have chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the wild, local wildlife biologists will work with hunters to test harvested game for the disease. In Nebraska testing for CWD started in 1997 and last year saw a record 51 samples testing positive for the disease. has a write up on the testing program.

“CWD is not a human health concern regardless of the incidence rate," said Scott Taylor, the commission’s interim wildlife manager. “In general, as a precaution, we recommend that people don’t eat wildlife showing signs of disease from any source." Game and Parks officials collected 3,645 lymph node samples from deer killed during the November firearm season.


hunter25's picture

I don't think it's going to

I don't think it's going to die itself out anytime soon but I do agree that they really like to dramatize it. It's been here in Colorado for a long time now and our herd has actually increased in size over the last decade or so. It is something ro be concerned about and I believe it will continue to spread but do not believe it is as damaging to the herd as they first tried to make us believe.

Hopefully this is not all just wishful thinking on my part but I think habitat loss in my state is a far bigger factor in the future of the hunting my kids are going to enjoy than anything else.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

I don't think it's really

I don't think it's really going to "damage" the population in Nebraska.  If anything, the higher population contributes to it.

Like I said in another thread regarding CWD, I don't think it's really as bad as they make it out to be.  I tend to think it has been around for a long, long time, but we are just now "classifying" it as a new disease.

The thing I think is more scary is that hemmorhagic (bluetongue) disease.  There are small outbreaks of this almost every year, and it causes die-offs, but you rarely hear about it.  It seems that CWD is the "sexy" term, catches more people's attention.

I still don't like the idea of it spreading like it is, but I don't think it's the animal armageddon that everyone thinks it is. 

jaybe's picture

 Well, here's hoping that

 Well, here's hoping that this disease will not seriously damage the wonderful population of whitetail deer in Nebraska. They have some real giants there, and it would be a shame to see them destroyed in that manner.

 It's a good thing that CWD is not harmful to humans, so that legally-taken deer can still be utilized for table fare, even if it tests positive for the disease.

 In Michigan, one deer in a private cervid facility was found to have CWD in 2008. After a three-year ban on baiting (thought to encourage the spread of CWD through nose-to-nose contact), no further positive tests have occurred. The speculation is that the baiting ban will be lifted for the 2011 season, but no official word of that has come forth at this time.

 I personally wonder if this disease, like many others that wildlife have faced throughout history, might run its course after a few generations (of deer) and it might become a thing of the past. We can hope to that end for Nebraska and other states that have CWD.