Chronic Wasting Disease confirmed in cervid herd in Kansas

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 4:04 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - Chronic Wasting Disease has been confirmed in a captive cervid herd in Kansas.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture says it has confirmed a case of Chronic Wasting Disease in a captive cervid herd in Osage County and is working with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to mitigate risk to the captive cervid industry as well as the local wild deer population in the area.

The KDA says CWD has been detected in wild deer populations in many western Kansas counties, however, this is the first documented positive case in eastern Kansas and the first in a captive herd since 2001.

The KDA says CWD is an infectious, degenerative disease of animals in the family cervidae such as elk, deer and moose, which impacts the animal’s brain cells, ultimately causing death. It says only animals in the family cervidae are susceptible to CWD and currently there is no evidence that CWD poses a threat to humans.

According to the KDA, the CWD-infected animal was born and raised on the premises in Osage Co. where it was tested after being euthanized in late June. It says the affected premises has been placed under quarantine, and tracing and surveillance are underway on all animals which have moved into or out of this captive cervid herd in the last 5 years.

KDWPT says it will conduct additional surveillance of CWD in Osage Co. as part of the agency’s annual testing of wild deer taken during hunting seasons and through a 3 year statewide research project set to begin in the fall. The department will use the data collected to develop CWD risk assessment maps and future surveillance, prevention, management and regulatory efforts.

The KDA says owners of captive cervid herds in Kansas are encouraged to participate in its CWD Herd Certification Program which provides increased oversight via annual inventory reconciliation, identification of all cervids over one year of age on the premises and CWD testing for all animal mortalities.

KDA says while the certification is voluntary, only operations that have been CWD certified for at least 5 years may legally move animals through other states. The infected Osage Co. animal was in a CWD certified herd which had not received any animals from any operations that did not have equal or greater certification status.

For more information on CWD or the KDA actions to mitigate spread of the disease visit the KDA CWD website or the KDWPT website.

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