COLUMBUS — For the seventh straight year, testing of Ohio’s deer herd has found no evidence of chronic wasting disease, a degenerative brain disease that affects elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer.
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, state and federal agriculture and wildlife officials collected 1,021 samples last year from hunter-harvested deer, primarily during the deer-gun season that ran Dec. 1-7.
All testing is performed at the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
In addition to CWD, 966 samples, or 94.6 percent of the hunter-harvested deer samples were also tested for bovine tuberculosis. Results found no evidence of this disease in Ohio deer.
Additional CWD samples are being taken from road-killed deer, but those test results are not yet available.
Since 2002, the Division of Wildlife, in conjunction with the ODA’s Division of Animal Industry and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, has been conducting surveillance throughout the state for CWD, as well as epizootic hemorrhagic disease and bovine tuberculosis.
While CWD has never been found in Ohio’s deer herd, it had been diagnosed in wild and captive deer, moose or elk in 15 other states and two Canadian provinces.
Since CWD was discovered in the western United States in the late 1960s, there has been no evidence that the disease can be transmitted to humans.
Ongoing. The ODNR Division of Wildlife continues to carefully monitor the health of Ohio’s wild deer herd throughout the year.
To view individual test results, visit the ODA’s Web site at www.agri.ohio.gov.