Media Contact: Geoff Cantrell, Public Information Officer
RALEIGH, N.C. (Oct. 19, 2011) – Tissue samples from deer seized by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission from an unlicensed Randolph County facility on Sept. 20 tested negative for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
CWD is a highly contagious and devastating disease of cervid species, which include deer, caribou, moose and elk. North Carolina is home to white-tailed deer and elk in the wild, and other cervid species that are held in licensed facilities. CWD was not detected in samples analyzed by National Veterinary Services Laboratories, of Ames, Iowa, a section of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Executive Director Gordon Myers said, “The State is very fortunate that CWD was not detected in tissue samples taken from these animals. Had these test results been positive, it would have presented significant biological, economical and sociological impacts throughout North Carolina. Captive deer of unknown origin pose a serious risk to the health of all deer within our state. We were very lucky in this situation.”
If samples were found to be positive for CWD, North Carolina’s CWD Response Plan would have been implemented. Response actions include, but are not limited to:
- Depopulation of deer within an affected zone
- Prohibition of supplemental feeding and baiting of deer in the wild
- Prohibition of rehabilitation or transfer of deer fawns
- Ban the transportation of captive cervids
Following detection of CWD in the eastern United States in 2002, there has been a concerted effort to prevent the spread of CWD to North Carolina’s deer and elk populations. Stringent laws and regulations have been pivotal in preventing the importation of this highly infectious and fatal animal disease. To date, CWD has been detected in 19 states, including Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.
More information on CWD is available through the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission at www.ncwildlife.org; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/cwd/ and the National CWD Alliance at www.cwd-info.org.