The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports that all of the 305 samples taken from white-tailed deer this season tested negative for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Samples taken this year bring the overall total of deer tested in Maryland to 7,483. The first and only deer in Maryland to test positive for CWD was harvested in 2010 in Allegany County.
“We are encouraged by the negative results this year,” said DNR’s Associate Director for Game Management, Pete Jayne. “We put regulations in place last year that were designed to slow the spread of this disease to other locations in the State. While there is no evidence that CWD poses any risk to pets, livestock or people, hunters should nevertheless exercise caution and never consume the meat of sick animals.”
The Department began testing for CWD in 1999 but since 2010 has focused its sampling efforts on Allegany and western Washington counties, due to the presence of positive cases in nearby West Virginia and Virginia. CWD was detected in Hampshire County, West Virginia in 2005 and was found in Frederick County, Virginia in 2010.
For more information on Chronic Wasting Disease in Maryland, including the regulations put in place last year, visit dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Hunt_Trap/deer/disease/cwdinformation.asp .