MDWFP continues sampling efforts for CWD - - Jackson, MS

MDWFP continues sampling efforts for CWD

(Source: WLBT) (Source: WLBT)

Although deer hunting season is over, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks will continue testing for Chronic Wasting Disease.

Russ Walsh, MDWFP Executive Wildlife Director, said they were notified about a hunter finding a dead deer in Issaquena County in January. MDWFP collected the deer and submitted it for testing, which later came back as positive for CWD on Feb.9.

“DNA results also indicated that deer was a local deer, a native deer. He was closely matched to deer from that area,” added Walsh. “So, we will continue our monitoring efforts to find out if other local deer have this disease.”

After receiving a positive CWD result, a ban on supplemental feeding and mineral licks was enacted in Claiborne, Hinds, Issaquena, Sharkey, Warren, and Yazoo counties.

“Both of those are in an effort to reduce the concentration of deer to possibly mitigate the spread of CWD,” said Walsh. “Also in that area, hog trapping has to be permitted through the agency. So, you can still trap hogs, you can still use bait inside of the traps but it has to permitted through the agency.”

As part of their monitoring efforts, 64 samples were taken from a 5-mile containment zone and were submitted for testing.

“The results that we have received from the tests have not detected Chronic Wasting Disease, but we’ll have to continue our monitoring, continue our sampling again so that we can better understand the possible extent or prevalence of this disease in that area,” said Walsh.

Walsh said MDWFP’s continuous monitoring efforts will include samples come from deer, roadkill, hunter-harvested samples during future hunting seasons, as well as diseased deer that are reported to MDWFP.

Walsh said the supplemental feeding ban is still in place in the 6 counties and he suggested hunters follow recommendations from the Mississippi Department of Health, advising people to not consume deer harvested from that area.

“The science thus far has not demonstrated that Chronic Wasting Disease can be transmitted to humans but we also don’t know that it can’t be transmitted to humans,” added Walsh. “Their recommendation was the meat not be consumed if harvested within the 25-mile zone.”

Todd Sarotte, store manager at Van’s Deer Processing in Brandon said some of his customers have been concerned about CWD and if their meat is being processed with meat from other customers.

“We always keep each individual customer's order separate from everybody else’s,” said Sarotte said. “From when it comes in, it’s put in a tub and labeled and as it goes through the whole process; being made into sausage, it’s all kept separate and bagged. That way each individual gets back their own meat."

MDWFP asks for the public to continue to report sick or diseased deer, click here for their online submission form.

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