by Joe Jerek
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports it has received results for more than half of approximately 19,200 tissue samples being tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD) collected during the Department’s mandatory sampling of deer harvested on Nov. 12 and 13 in 29 counties in northeast, central, and east-central Missouri.
From those test results, MDC has confirmed that two deer tested positive for CWD; a yearling male harvested in southeast Jefferson County and a mature buck harvested in northern Franklin County.
MDC expects to receive results in the next few weeks from the remaining tissue samples being tested from mandatory sampling and early sampling in southwest Missouri. Testing is being done by Colorado State University at an independent laboratory that specializes in wildlife-disease testing.
“This has been a huge undertaking and we greatly appreciate the help from participating hunters and businesses,” said MDC Wildlife Disease Coordinator Jasmine Batten. “As we get the final test results back in the coming weeks, we will have a better understanding of where this wildlife disease is on the Missouri landscape. This will help us in evaluating the next steps in our ongoing CWD management efforts, including future testing efforts in the CWD management zone and around the state.”
The Department received test results for about 80 percent of the nearly 550 tissue samples collected for CWD testing in seven counties in southwest Missouri. The target counties are close to where more than 100 cases of CWD have been found in Northwest Arkansas. No deer from southern Missouri have tested positive for the disease.
The Department is testing additional tissue samples taken by taxidermists and collected at MDC offices and other sampling locations throughout the deer-hunting season.
MDC encourages hunters who harvest deer throughout the rest of the hunting season in northeast, central and east central Missouri to have their deer tested for the disease. MDC encourages hunters who harvest deer throughout the rest of the hunting season in Barry, Christian, Douglas, McDonald, Ozark, Stone and Taney counties in southwest Missouri to have their animals tested for CWD. Find sampling locations online at mdc.mo.gov/cwdsamplinglocations.
For more information on the Department’s CWD sampling efforts and testing results, visit mdc.mo.gov/cwd and look under “CWD Surveillance Summary.”
Hunters who participated in the Department’s CWD sampling efforts can get test results for their harvested deer online at mdc.mo.gov/cwdtestresults.
Chronic wasting disease infects only deer and other members of the deer family by causing degeneration of the brain. The disease has no vaccine or cure and is 100 percent fatal. For more information on CWD, visit mdc.mo.gov/cwd. For information on processing and consuming meat from deer with CWD, visit the Department of Health and Senior Services at health.mo.gov/cwd.