CWD Roundup is the National Deer Association’s (NDA) bi-monthly update on all things chronic wasting disease (CWD). We’ll provide the latest updates on CWD spread, research and policy from across North America. Updates are provided alphabetically by state and province.
In late March, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) announced that Arizona continues to have no positive CWD detections. Department officials did not find any cases of CWD in the 1,199 deer (mule and white-tailed) and elk that were sampled in 2022. AZGFD collected 354 samples from animals that were harvested and voluntarily submitted by hunters, and another 845 samples through partnerships with game processors and taxidermists.
In early March, Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) reported that 289 deer and three elk had been killed and removed from the Slate Creek drainage as part of a targeted removal. Out of the 163 test results at the time of reporting, 19 white-tailed deer tested positive for CWD, which suggests about 12% of the deer in the area are infected with the fatal disease.
In late April, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reported 11 deer tested positive for CWD in Tensas Parish during the 2022-23 hunting season, bringing Louisiana’s total to 12 cases since the discovery of the disease in January of 2022. All 12 positive tests were in Tensas Parish. A total of 2,370 hunter-harvested deer were tested for CWD in Louisiana during the 2022-23 season.
In late February, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) announced that CWD was detected in 26 hunter-harvested deer through the 2022 fall seasons. Of these, 73% were from the southeast, a region that continues to see persistent CWD infections in wild deer.
In early March, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) received CWD positive test results for a hunter-harvested doe from Tunica County. This was the first CWD-positive detection for this county.
In mid-April, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reported that it sampled and tested more than 33,000 deer for CWD during the 2022 CWD surveillance year between July 2022 and April 2023. Of the more than 33,000 deer sampled, 117 tested positive for CWD. Nearly 19,400 of the 33,000-plus deer tested were sampled as part of MDC mandatory CWD sampling efforts in select counties during the opening weekend of the November portion of firearms deer season. Most of the remaining samples resulted from MDC’s voluntary sampling efforts conducted throughout the deer season in partnership with taxidermists and meat processors throughout the state.
In mid-April, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) reported detections of CWD in Cumberland and Wilkes counties As a result, emergency powers were invoked by the WRC to delineate Surveillance Areas and specify requirements necessary to reduce movement and infection risk of the disease.
In mid-March, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department (NDGFD) reported 24 deer from the 2022 hunting season tested positive for CWD. Eight deer were from hunting unit 3F2; eight from unit 3A1; two from unit 4B; and one from units 3B1 and 3E2. Single positive deer were also found in four new units – 3A3, 3E1, 3F1 and 4F – where the disease had not been previously detected.
In late March, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) received confirmation of seven new cases of CWD in three separate deer-breeding facilities in Zavala, Washington and Gonzales counties. These cases mark the first detection of the disease in each county. Three cases in a Zavala County facility and one case in a Washington County facility were detected through antemortem (live animal) testing conducted prior to their transfer from the properties to registered release sites. Three cases in a Gonzales County facility were detected by antemortem and postmortem testing, as required by a CWD Herd Plan established after the facility received CWD-exposed deer from an Uvalde County deer breeding facility in which CWD was detected in 2021.
In mid-April, TPWD and TAHC received confirmation of two new cases of CWD in separate deer breeding facilities in Hamilton and Frio counties. These cases mark the first detection of the disease in each county. A single case in a Hamilton County facility was detected using antemortem (live animal) testing to determine if the animal was movement qualified, or approved for transfer from the property to a registered release site. A single case in a Frio County facility was detected using postmortem testing following a natural mortality conducted to meet TPWD surveillance requirements.
In early March, the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) reported the results of CWD surveillance from within the Department’s three CWD Disease Management Areas (DMA) for the 2022 – 2023 deer hunting season. As of March 3, 435 deer from DMA1 had been sampled for CWD. Thirty white-tailed deer originating from DMA1 were confirmed to be infected with CWD; 24 CWD-positive deer were reported from Frederick County, four from Shenandoah County, and one CWD-positive deer was reported from both Warren and Clarke counties.
As of March 3rd, 1,638 deer from DMA2 had been sampled for CWD. Five white-tailed deer from DMA2 were confirmed to be infected with CWD; three CWD-positive deer were reported in Loudoun County and single CWD-positive deer were reported from both Madison and Culpeper counties. Additionally, a positive detection was found in Fairfax County just outside of DMA2. As a result, DMA2 will be expanded to include Fairfax, Prince William, and Arlington counties for the 2023-2024 deer hunting season.
As of March 3rd, 1,170 deer had been sampled for CWD. Eight hunter-harvested deer originating from DMA3 were confirmed to be infected with CWD. Four CWD-positive deer were harvested in Montgomery County, three in Floyd, and one CWD-positive deer was harvested in Pulaski County. The Pulaski County positive was the first detection in the county. As a result of a CWD detection in Surry County, North Carolina, Patrick County will be added to DMA3 for the 2023 – 2024 deer hunting season.
In mid-April, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed a wild deer tested positive for CWD in Winnebago County in the town of Nepeuskun. The deer was a three-year-old doe, reported sick and dispatched by the local sheriff’s department, and is the first confirmed wild deer CWD-positive detected in Winnebago County. This recent detection of CWD in Winnebago County will renew a three-year baiting and feeding ban in the county, as well as renew a two-year baiting and feeding ban in Waushara County, Green Lake County and Fond du Lac County.
In early March, Manitoba Natural Resources and Northern Development reported the first detections of white-tailed deer infected with CWD in Manitoba, along with additional detections of CWD in mule deer
A total of 20 positive cases of CWD have been detected to date. Eighteen detections of mule deer (17 male and one female) and two detections of male white-tailed deer. Cases were identified from mandatory biological sampling submissions of animals as well as animals harvested by department staff as a part of ongoing CWD management efforts.
In late March, the Quebec Ministry of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks announced the enactment of a new regulation aimed at prohibiting the feeding of white-tailed deer everywhere in Quebec, outside of hunting seasons, from December 1 to August 31 of each year, in an effort to slow the spread of CWD.