CWD Roundup – November 2021

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.

Hunting Season Updates

A general trend that we’ve seen over the last two months is state wildlife agencies issuing news releases with information and reminders for hunters with respect to CWD as they head afield this fall. These reminders have included information on CWD hunting zones, regulations within those zones, carcass transport rules and how and where to get harvested deer tested for the disease. Hunters should pay close attention to these reminders and would be wise to take another glance at their state wildlife agency’s CWD webpage. Regulations and maps change quickly and often, and hunters must do their part to limit the spread of this disease. Some states and provinces that have issued reminders include: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Saskatchewan, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Louisiana and Wyoming are even offering the opportunity to win prizes for hunters who submit samples for CWD testing. Similarly, Minnesota and Pennsylvania have held public meetings to update the public on CWD rules and management efforts.

Kentucky

In mid-September, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission recommended changes to four administrative regulations correlated to the recent activation of Kentucky’s Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan. These proposals define surveillance zones (SZs), restrict wildlife feeding and define carcass transport and import restrictions.

Minnesota

In late September, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) learned that deer farms in Minnesota were among those that received deer from a Wisconsin farm where CWD was discovered in August 2021.  According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the farm where CWD was detected sold nearly 400 deer to 40 farms in seven states during the past five years. The Minnesota herds are being quarantined and contact-traced.

In mid-October, the DNR issued an emergency rule that temporarily prohibits (expires in April 2023) the importation and movement of farmed white-tailed deer into and within Minnesota. The DNR is taking this action in response to the discovery that a CWD-positive farm in Wisconsin.

Pennsylvania

In late October, the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) announced the detection of CWD in a road killed deer on the northern boundary of Disease Management Area 3 (DMA3). The adult male deer was collected as part of ongoing CWD surveillance efforts. As a result of the detection, the PGC expanded DMA 3 and the created a new DMA (DMA 6) to protect Pennsylvania’s elk herd.

Tennessee

In mid-September, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) confirmed CWD in a wild 3.5-year-old doe. TWRA staff responded to a call in Henry County about a doe who was thin and exhibiting strange behavior. This positive detection changes Henry County’s status to positive and adjacent Weakley County to high-risk. As a result, carcass transport, feeding, and mineral placement regulations are immediately triggered in both Henry and Weakley counties. This detection also prompted the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to activate its CWD response plan. The Tennessee detection was within 8 miles of the Tennessee-Kentucky border.

Texas

In September, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) proposed rules governing CWD management that would impose new testing requirements for deer breeding facilities and incorporate the provisions of an emergency rule adopted on June 22, 2021. The intent of the proposed rules is to reduce the probability of CWD being spread from facilities where it does or might exist and to increase the probability of detecting and containing CWD where it does exist.

Wisconsin

In early September, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) confirmed that a deer farm in Outagamie County tested positive CWD. The farm was already under quarantine after receiving animals from a CWD affected farm.

In early September, DATCP confirmed that a deer farm in Langlade County tested positive for CWD. All 57 deer at the 6-acre farm were already under quarantine after receiving animals from a CWD-affected farm.

In late September, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) received notification from DATCP that a farm-raised deer on a deer farm in Outagamie County tested positive for CWD. With this new CWD detection, Outagamie County is now considered a CWD-affected county. This will create a three-year baiting and feeding ban in Outagamie County, and a two-year baiting and feeding ban in Calumet County, as required by law starting Oct. 1, 2021.

In late September, DATCP confirmed that a deer farm in Vilas County tested positive for CWD. The sample was taken during routine surveillance and came from an adult doe that was born on the farm and showed no signs of disease at the time of death. DATCP has quarantined the approximately 250 white-tailed deer at the 600-acre farm.

In late October, DNR confirmed a wild deer tested positive for CWD in Fond du Lac County, within 10 miles of the Winnebago County border. As required by state law, the DNR will renew the baiting and feeding bans in Fond du Lac and Winnebago counties. A local landowner reported the deer, an adult doe, to the department in early October. The deer showed outward signs of disease and possible injury by car collision. This detection is the first wild deer detection in Fond du Lac County.

Wyoming

In mid-October, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (Game and Fish) has confirmed the presence of CWD in two new deer hunt areas (144 and 148) and one new elk hunt area (41). The disease was confirmed from lymph node samples from two mule deer buck and one bull elk submitted by hunters.

In early November, Game and Fish confirmed the presence of CWD in three new elk hunt areas in Wyoming. The disease was confirmed from lymph node samples from three hunter-harvested bull elk. In the Pinedale Region, CWD was confirmed in Elk Hunt Area 98. Additionally, in the Sheridan Region, Game and Fish has identified two new CWD-positive elk areas – Elk Hunt Area 36 and 129. These new areas overlay CWD-positive deer areas and/or are adjacent to CWD-positive elk areas.

Federal

In early September, the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service signed an order to temporarily restrict wildlife feeding on the Allegheny National Forest in northwestern Pennsylvania. The restriction will be in place for one year and only applies to activities on National Forest System lands. The order comes after a recent positive CWD detection at a captive deer facility nearby.

Manitoba, CA

In early November, the Manitoba Government announced the first detection of CWD in the province following a positive detection in western Manitoba. A male mule deer was observed to be unhealthy and was euthanized in western Manitoba, near Lake of the Prairies. To ensure the disease is not spread through the transport of a diseased carcass, Manitoba will be immediately implementing a ban on hunting deer, moose, caribou and elk in the area. The boundaries of this area are currently being determined, but will initially include at least a portion of Game Hunting Area (GHA) 22.


About Torin Miller

Torin Miller is a licensed attorney and NDA’s Director of Policy. He works at the intersection of conservation and natural resources law, policy, advocacy and education. He has a bachelor's degree in wildlife and fisheries science from Penn State University, a J.D. from Penn State Law and is finishing a master's degree in wildlife and fisheries science at Penn State. Torin came to NDA via the National Deer Alliance, where he served as the Policy and Outreach Coordinator.