GREEN RIVER - Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease of deer, elk, and moose, has been discovered in deer hunt area 132.
Green River Wildlife Management Coordinator Mark Zornes said this case involved a mule deer doe that was collected within a half mile of the Green River Game and Fish Regional Office because it was emaciated and in poor body condition. The doe was euthanized and submitted for testing.
“This is the first time we have found CWD in this hunt area,” Zornes said. “However, the occurrence of CWD in Green River is not a huge surprise. CWD has been documented in Utah near the Wyoming border, about 40 miles to the south.”
CWD is not known to be a disease of humans and presents no known public health significance at this time. Nonetheless, to avoid risk, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people avoid eating meat from deer and elk that look sick or that test positive for CWD.
The Game and Fish continues to collect samples through hunter field checks and at CWD sampling stations. More than 4,000 CWD samples are collected annually throughout the state.
“There are no methods that have been proven effective in stopping the expansion of CWD, although a number of things have been tried in other states,” said Eric Keszler, Game and Fish assistant Services Division chief. “Recent research in Wisconsin and Colorado has shown that large-scale culling of animals is ineffective in stopping the spread of the disease or reducing its prevalence. Currently, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is monitoring the disease, conducting various research projects to understand more about CWD, and educating the public on the presence of the disease and what it means for wildlife and people. The department is committed to using the best available science to manage this disease in a manner that makes sense for the wildlife and people of Wyoming.”
For more information about CWD in Wyoming, visit the Game and Fish website at: wgfd.wyo.gov. For more information about CWD in North America, visit the CWD Alliance website at: www.cwd-info.org/.
(Contact: Lucy Diggins (307) 875-3223)