Another State Finds First Case of CWD in Wild Deer Herd

By author of Brow Tines and Backstrap

This Changes Things Ladies and Gentlemen. Are You Effected?

Texas now faces the challenge of combatting CWD in its wild deer herd. (Shutterstock/Dennis W Donohue photo)

Many pride themselves in the fact they don’t have Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in their state. Others trumpet the fact they’ve only found it in captive deer herds. Texas used to be one such state. Not anymore.

According to a recent press release from Texas Parks & Wildlife, CWD was found in a hunter-harvested yearling (1½-year-old) buck. The deer was checked in Medina County, which falls within Zone 3. TPWD officials are reportedly taking steps and precautions to contain the disease as much as possible.

“Although the disease has been discovered in a free-ranging whitetail in this area, we cannot draw any conclusions at this time based on one detection,” TPWD Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Bob Dittmar said in a press release. “The proactive measures we are taking as part of our epidemiological investigation into this case are in line with the state’s strategies to prevent this disease from spreading any further. The more effective we are at containing this disease within a limited geographic area, the better it will be for our wildlife resources and all those who enjoy them.”

That area of Texas will now become a containment zone, which will mean changes in deer hunting rules and regulations. Two such rules will include restrictions on the transport of carcasses and mandatory CWD testing of harvested deer.

“This emergency action allows us to contain the threat of this disease spreading any further while we collect more information and gather more data,” Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Chairman T. Dan Friedkin said in a press release. “Not only are these temporary emergency measures necessary and consistent with the state’s planned strategies for CWD management, they are essential for ensuring the protection of the state’s whitetail deer herd and the integrity of our hunting heritage.

“It is my intent for the Commission to address this issue through our regular rulemaking process, which provides opportunities for public comment and input from stakeholders, and that process will begin soon,” Friedkin continued.

“With the confirmation of CWD in a free-ranging buck in Medina County, the TAHC is working with TPWD to determine the disease risk in the area,” TAHC State Epidemiologist Dr. Susan Rollo said in a press release. “TAHC understands and appreciates TPWD’s immediate response and temporary measures to prevent the inadvertent spread of CWD to other parts of Texas.”

Even though deer season is now over, TPWD officials will supposedly continue to sample and test deer under the Managed Lands Deer Program. Go here for more information.

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