Department of Conservation finds more deer with deadly CWD

Posted on 17 January 2019 at 11:45am
Story image: Department of Conservation finds more deer with deadly CWD

JEFFERSON CITY – There are 28 more deer from 11 Missouri counties that have chronic wasting disease (CWD), according to a Missouri Department of Conservation press release. This brings the number of cases of the deadly deer disease in Missouri to 103 since 2012.

CWD is spread from deer to deer through direct contact and through contact with soil, food and water that have been contaminated through feces, urine, saliva, or carcasses of infected deer.

MDC tested more than 28,000 deer this past summer throughout the fall deer-hunting season.

The CWD-positive deer were from the following counties: Adair (2), Crawford (1), Franklin (5), Jefferson (1), Linn (2), Macon (4), Mercer (1), Oregon (3), Ste Genevieve (7), Stone (1), and Taney (1).

There have also been hundreds of cases of CWD found in northwest Arkansas bordering southern Missouri. CWD has also been found in Wayne County, Iowa, which borders northern Missouri.

MDC Wildlife Disease Coordinator Jasmine Batten said CWD is relatively rare in the state and the department wants to keep it that way.

“If left unchecked, CWD could dramatically decrease the overall health and number of deer in Missouri over time,” Batten said.

MDC is focusing on managing CWD in the immediate areas where new and recent cases of the disease have been found, according to the press release. This includes staff working with landowners on a voluntary basis to test additional deer.

Batten said in the press release that MDC is modeling this management approach after similar effective efforts in Illinois.