VDGIF Prepared to Respond to West Virginia CWD Case

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The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) was notified this afternoon by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) that they confirmed the first known case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in West Virginia. This is the southern most confirmed case of CWD in the eastern United States to date. The white-tailed deer came from Hampshire County, West Virginia, approximately 10 miles from the Virginia state line adjacent to Frederick County, Virginia.

VDGIF biologists and staff Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Jonathan Sleeman had previously identified this region as a high risk for CWD due to the presence of captive deer facilities in neighboring states, including West Virginia. The Department had already planned to implement enhanced CWD testing in Virginia in that region this fall.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is activating its Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan, most recently revised in July 2005. The Department has had a comprehensive CWD surveillance strategy in place since 2002. Any confirmed case of CWD within 50 miles of Virginia activates the CWD Response Plan.

In the near future, VDGIF staff will be holding meetings in that area to inform the public about CWD and the Department's CWD management actions. For more information about CWD, visit the Department's Web site at www.dgif.virginia.gov.

The Department is in communication with West Virginia DNR. To see their press release that makes this announcement, visit their Web site at www.wvdnr.gov.