No Evidence of Chronic Wasting Disease

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For the third 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.

State officials collected samples from hunter-harvested deer during the one week deer-gun season, November 28 through December 5, 2004. The samples then were tested by the Animal Disease Diagnostics Laboratory of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

The Division of Wildlife has been conducting targeted surveillance since 2002 throughout the state for CWD and other diseases such as Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease and Bovine Tuberculosis and 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 the disease can be transmitted to humans.

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

The Division of Wildlife will continue monitoring the health of Ohio’s deer herd throughout the year.