COLUMBUS — For the ninth straight year, testing of Ohio’s deer herd has found no evidence of chronic wasting disease (CWD), 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 588 samples last year from hunter-harvested deer from 44 counties, primarily during the deer-gun season that ran Nov. 29 – Dec. 5.
All CWD testing is performed at the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Additional CWD samples are being taken from road-killed deer, but those test results are not yet available. Sampling continues through April.
In addition to CWD, all 588 samples of the hunter-harvested deer samples were also tested for bovine tuberculosis. Results found no evidence of this disease in Ohio deer.
Since 2002, the Division of Wildlife, in conjunction with ODA’s Division of Animal Industry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife and Veterinary Services, has been conducting surveillance throughout the state for CWD 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 16 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.