Indiana Deer Remain CWD Free
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was not detected in the 862 deer collected during the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife's 2008 CWD sampling.
In every year since 2002, DFW employees have been collecting CWD samples from hunter-harvested deer during the opening weekend of firearm season. Since 2007, these efforts have been supplemented with collecting road-killed samples throughout the year. CWD has not been detected in the more than 10,000 deer collected during the entire monitoring period.
CWD is one of a group of diseases called Transmissible Spongiform Encepalopathies (TSEs). Other examples of TSEs include scrapie in sheep and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. The agents of CWD are called prions, which are abnormal, protease-resistant forms of cellular proteins normally synthesized in the central nervous system and lymphoid tissues. Prions that cause CWD are highly resistant to heat or disinfectant, and can be transferred to other deer through direct or indirect contact. No study has ever proven that CWD is transmissible to humans.
CWD has been reported in free-ranging deer herds in Wisconsin, Illinois and West Virginia, among other states. Indiana has never detected CWD within its free-ranging or captive deer herds. For more information on deer health, visit dnr.IN.gov/fishwild.