First Case of CWD Detected in Free-Ranging Texas Whitetail
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a neurological disease in deer, elk, moose, mule deer and other members of the deer family, known as “cervids.” The disease was first discovered in Texas in 2012, but has stayed confined to captive facilities. Until now, that is.
Texas authorities are reporting Chronic wasting disease has been detected in a hunter harvested 1 1/2 –year-old white-tailed buck submitted for sampling within Surveillance Zone 3 in Medina County. This marks the first confirmed case of CWD in a free-ranging Texas whitetail.
Effective immediately, An executive ordered issued by Texas Parks and Wildlife has portions of Bandera, Medina and Uvalde counties in a chronic wasting disease containment zone. The measure included restrictions on the handling of deer meat and processing in that area. Those rules include restrictions on the movements of carcass parts as well as live deer possessed under the authority of a permit. The department is also implementing mandatory CWD testing of hunter harvested deer within this containment zone.
“This emergency action allows us to contain the threat of this disease spreading any further while we collect more information and gather more data,” said T. Dan Friedkin, Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Chairman. “Not only are these temporary emergency measures necessary and consistent with the state’s planned strategies for CWD management, they are essential for ensuring the protection of the state’s whitetail deer herd and the integrity of our hunting heritage.
With no known cure for this horrific disease, state wildlife officials are creating new rules as part of the state’s comprehensive CWD management plan to determine the prevalence and geographic extent of the disease and to contain the disease to the areas where it is known to exist.
See the Texas CWD Management & Regulations for Hunters PDF for details, regulations, check station, and carcass movement restrictions.
In order to help contain this disease we must be diligent and take the necessary precautions as hunters to help wildlife officials while further testing of samples is collected for data and research.
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