Virginia Confirms CWD; No Changes Planned

A single new case of chronic wasting disease has been detected in Virginia very close to where CWD-infected deer were killed in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

This 3.5-year-old buck was killed by a hunter on Nov. 17 in western Frederick County, close to the West Virginia border. Given the proximity of this new positive to the previous cases, changes to current management actions or restrictions are not anticipated.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries plans to continue collecting CWD samples on the first three Saturdays of regular firearms season during future hunting seasons, along with other management options implemented after the initial detection of CWD in 2009.

These management actions include: prohibiting the feeding of deer year-round both in and near the Containment Area (CA) prohibiting the movement of deer carcasses and parts out of the CA (with exceptions) restricting the disposal of deer wastes from the CA, prohibiting the rehabilitation of deer in the CA, and maintaining liberal seasons and bag limits on private lands in an attempt to reduce the deer population. The CA is located in western Frederick and Shenandoah counties.

As of Jan. 20, 2013, CWD has been detected in 23 states and two Canadian provinces. The disease is a slow, progressive neurological (brain and nervous system) disease found in deer, elk, and moose in North America. The disease ultimately results in death of the animal.

Symptoms exhibited by CWD-infected deer include staggering, abnormal posture, lowered head, drooling, confusion, and marked weight loss. There is no evidence that CWD can be naturally transmitted to humans, livestock, or pets.

More information on CWD can be found at www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/diseases/cwd/.

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