CAHFS Weekly Update: CWD Updates for Minnesota; States and Nation Ramp Up CWD Research and Regulations; First Case of CWD identified in Manitoba
CWD Updates for Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced that a suspect case of chronic wasting disease was found in a wild deer along the North Dakota border. This represents the first suspected case of CWD for this part of the state. It was detected by a hunter who voluntarily sampled his game and paid for a private test. As a result, the DNR has implemented voluntary testing for deer harvested in this region.
The Minnesota gun deer season is a reminder of the continually evolving chronic wasting disease (CWD) situation in Minnesota. Under current regulations hunters are required to submit samples for CWD testing for deer over 1 year of age taken in CWD management, control, or surveillance zones. In addition to the required testing, movement of whole deer out of CWD management and control zones is prohibited until a negative test has been confirmed. These requirements are part of the state's ongoing work to learn more and stop the spread of CWD.
The spread and control of CWD has been a focus of not only the MN DNR but also of ongoing research at the University of Minnesota. As the DNR has taken more aggressive actions to restrict the movement of carcasses from CWD zones and collect samples, they have also halted the importation and movement of cervids from farms within the state. All of this has occurred while researchers with the MNPRO lab at the University of Minnesota continue work to validate their new MN-QuIC test which is able to give results within 24 hours, which would revolutionize the way CWD is tested.
States and Nation Ramp Up CWD Research and Regulations
As CWD continues to spread and be detected in new areas nearly every year, there has been an increased focus on the disease by both individual states and the federal government. Some states, like Minnesota and Wyoming, with active hunter based surveillance programs continue to find cases of the disease in new areas. Wyoming, for example, has recently reported cases of CWD in 3 new elk hunting areas through the state.
Other states where CWD hasn’t yet been found have implemented new rules around interstate transportation of game . Some states, such as Florida and South Carolina, have not reported any cases of CWD, but have changed rules for transport of cervid carcases and the use of cervid derived products in an attempt to prevent the spread of disease into their states. As of today, CWD has been reported in 26 U.S. States.
In addition to ramped up state regulations to prevent the spread, a bill was introduced to U.S. congress in October to help fund research and management of CWD across the nation. If enacted, the bill would allocate $70 million dollars annually from 2022 to 2028 with funds administered by the USDA. While there is no evidence of CWD as a zoonosis, the CDC currently recommends that people do not eat meat from CWD positive animals.
First Case of CWD identified in Manitoba
The government of Manitoba stated in a press release that on October 14, 2021, a mule deer, which was identified through the province's wildlife health surveillance program, was found to be positive for CWD. The deer, which was euthanized in western Manitoba near Lake of the Prairies, represents the first case in the Canadian province. Previously, CWD has been identified further west in both Saskatchewan and Alberta.
The province had previously established mandatory sampling zones along the western border of the province and voluntary sample zones along the southern border with the United States. In addition to the mandatory testing zone, the province has had in place restrictions on movement of certain unprocessed game and meat into the province to prevent the introduction of the disease.
In response to the positive case, the provincial government has put a temporary ban on hunting all cervids (e.g. deer, elk and moose) in the immediate area of the positive animal. The intention of this ban is to prevent the movement of other potentially infected carcasses out of the area, and reduce the risk of disease spread. In addition, an aerial population survey in the immediate area of the positive case is being conducted on all deer, elk and moose. The data from this survey will be used to “determine and assess the effectiveness of management actions."
CWD Suspect NW MN Border - MN DNR
CWD Testing Mandatory in CWD Zones - MN DNR
MN halts deer importation and movement - MPR
MPR New CWD Test
CWD Found in New Wyoming Elk Hunting Areas
New Florida CWD Rules
SC CWD Rules
CWD Research Bill Press Release