Chronic wasting disease discovered in deer hunt area 97 near Lander

(Lander, Wyo.) – Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease of deer, elk and moose, has been discovered in deer hunt area 97, bringing the known total of CWD areas in the Lander Region to four; areas 97, 98, 157, and 87.

A mule deer doe from hunt area 97 was confirmed CWD positive by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s wildlife disease laboratory in Laramie on August 3, 2014.  The animal was dispacthed by wardens after being reported as acting strangely west of Muddy Gap. Hunt area 97 borders deer CWD endemic areas 87 and 89 to the east. Hunt area 89 became positive in 2002 and 87 in 2007.

After a review of available scientific data, the World Health Organization in December 1999 stated, “There is currently no evidence that CWD in cervidae (deer and elk) is transmitted to humans.” In 2004, Dr. Ermias Belay of the Center for Disease Control said, “The lack of evidence of a link between CWD transmission and unusual cases of CJD, [Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a human prion disease] despite several epidemiological investigations, suggest that the risk, if any, of transmission of CWD to humans is low.” Nonetheless to avoid risk, both organizations say parts or products from any animal that looks sick and/or tests positive for CWD should not be eaten.

Lander region personnel will continue to collect samples through hunter field checks, and at CWD sampling stations.

For more information on chronic wasting disease and regulations on transportation and disposal of carcasses please visit the Game and Fish website at: http://wgfd.wyo.gov/web2011/wildlife-1000284.aspx.

–Provided by Wyoming Game & Fish Department