The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) today announced that testing of Ohio’s deer herd has found no evidence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) for the 10th straight year. CWD is a degenerative brain disease that affects elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer.
According to ODNR’s Division of Wildlife, state and federal agriculture and wildlife officials collected 549 samples last year from hunter-harvested deer from 36 counties, primarily during the deer-gun season that ran Nov. 28 – Dec. 4. All CWD testing is performed at ODA’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.
In addition to CWD, 561 of the hunter-harvested deer samples were also tested for bovine tuberculosis. Results found no evidence of this disease in Ohio deer as well. Additional CWD samples are being taken from road-killed deer, but those test results are not yet available. Sampling will continue through April.
Since 2002, ODNR’s Division of Wildlife, in conjunction with the 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 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.