GREAT FALLS — Samples from 25 deer harvested around the state tested positive for chronic wasting disease last week, according to a news release from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP). The majority of the new positive samples were from animals harvested within CWD Management Zones, where the disease is known to exist.
Two of the positive samples were from areas where the disease had not been previously detected. These include a mule deer doe harvested in hunting district 650 south of the Fort Peck Reservation, and a white-tailed buck harvested in HD 702 in Rosebud County. These two areas are adjacent to CWD Management Zones.
This brings the number of positive samples collected this year to 91, including one elk and one moose.
This year FWP is conducting CWD surveillance in high-priority areas in parts of northern, western and southern Montana, primarily from hunter-harvested animals. In addition, hunters in all parts of the state were able to submit their own samples for testing. Samples were sent for testing to Colorado State University and those results are reported on a weekly basis to FWP. Another round of results is expected next week. Hunters who submitted animals for testing, can check online for their results at fwp.mt.gov/CWD .
With the general hunting season now closed, FWP will review management strategies, testing results and other collected information to make plans for the next necessary steps in managing the disease.
CWD is a fatal disease that can affect the nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. Transmission can most commonly occur through direct contact between cervids, as well as shed in urine, feces, saliva, blood and antler velvet from infected cervids. Carcasses of infected cervids may serve as a source of environmental contamination as well and can infect other cervids that come into contact with that carcass.
- Moose tests positive for CWD in NW Montana
- Deer harvested in Liberty County tests positive for CWD
- Five chronic wasting disease cases reported in Libby area
- Chronic Wasting Disease confirmed in Liberty and Carbon counties
- Deer harvested in Blaine County test positive for chronic wasting disease
There is no known transmission of CWD to humans or other animals, including pets or livestock. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that hunters harvesting a deer, elk, or moose from an area where CWD is known to be present have their animal tested for CWD prior to consuming the meat, and to not consume the meat if the animal tests positive.