COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife has identified a second positive test for chronic wasting disease in a wild white-tailed deer in Wyandot County. The mature doe was harvested in January during a controlled hunt on the Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area refuge, within 2 miles of the first positive location.
Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer and other similar species, including mule deer, elk and moose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no strong evidence that the disease is transmissible to humans.
The first chronic wasting disease-positive deer was a mature buck taken by a hunter on private property and confirmed in December. The division implemented its response plan, which included enhanced surveillance within a 10-mile radius of the first positive location.
Mandatory deer disease sample collection occurred during controlled hunts at Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area, which is how the second positive was detected. The second positive deer allows wildlife professionals to focus disease management efforts as surveillance and testing in the area continue.
The division has conducted routine surveillance for the disease since 2002, testing more than 30,000 deer without finding a positive deer in the wild herd. In 2020, approximately 4,500 deer were tested statewide. The disease has previously been detected at captive deer breeding facilities in Ohio.
Find more information about Ohio’s chronic wasting disease surveillance at wildohio.gov. The disease has been detected in 26 states and four Canadian provinces. It was first discovered in the 1960s in the western U.S. More information about this disease is available at cwd-info.org.
Hunters should take precautions when handling and processing any harvested deer. Hunters may have a harvested deer tested at the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory for a fee. Call 614-728-6220 for more information.
STAY INFORMED. SIGN UP!
Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!