CWD Not Detected in Deer Herd

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For the second year in a row, testing of Ohio’s deer herd has found no evidence of chronic wasting disease (CWD), a degenerative brain disease that affects elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

State officials collected samples from hunter-harvested deer during the deer-gun season, Dec. 1-7, 2003. The samples were then tested by the Animal Disease Diagnostics Laboratory of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

“This is the second year for our testing and the second year chronic wasting disease has not been detected in the Ohio deer herd,” said Dave Risley, ODNR’s wildlife management and research administrator.

“The Division of Wildlife has been conducting targeted surveillance throughout the state for CWD and other diseases such as Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease and Bovine Tuberculosis and we will continue those efforts to safeguard Ohio’s deer herd.”

Since CWD was discovered in the Western United States in the late 1960s, there has been no evidence that it can be transmitted to humans. Members of the deer family, such as white-tailed deer, mule deer and elk, are the only known animals naturally susceptible to the disease.

While CWD has never been found in Ohio’s deer herd, it had been diagnosed in wild or captive deer or elk in Colorado, Wyoming, Wisconsin, South Dakota, New Mexico, Utah, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas, Montana and two Canadian provinces.

ODNR will continue monitoring the health of Ohio’s deer herd throughout the year. For the latest information on Chronic Wasting Disease, visit the ODNR web site at ohiodnr.com; or web sites of the Ohio Department of Agriculture www.state.oh.us/agr or the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance www.cwd-info.org.