Two deer test positive for CWD in North Dakota

Staff reports
Farm Forum

A whitetail buck and a mule deer doe killed during the 2017 deer-gun season in unit 3F2 in southwestern North Dakota have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to Dr. Dan Grove, wildlife veterinarian for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

Since 2009, 11 deer have tested positive for CWD in North Dakota, and all were from within unit 3F2. CWD affects the nervous system of members of the deer family and is always fatal.

In 2010, the NDGF implemented special regulations in 3F2 and surrounding units to limit the natural spread of the disease and protect the rest of the deer, elk and moose herds in North Dakota.

In addition to the 350 samples tested for CWD from unit 3F2, another 1,050 were tested from deer harvested last fall by hunters in the central part of the state, as well as from any moose or elk taken during the hunting season. In all, more than 1,400 samples were tested.

Since the NDGF’s sampling efforts began in 2002, more than 31,000 deer, elk and moose have tested negative for CWD.

The hunter-harvested surveillance program annually collects samples taken from hunter-harvested deer in specific regions of the state. In 2018, deer will be tested from the western portion of the state.

NDGF also has a targeted surveillance program that is an ongoing, year-round effort to test animals found dead or sick.

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