The Department of Conservation reports an adult female deer in Oregon County has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). A landowner found a dead deer and was concerned. The Department of Conservation was notified, staff collected a sample and the sample was tested for CWD.
This is the first deer found dead in Missouri that has tested positive for CWD. The nearest confirmed CWD positive case is more than 70 miles away in Arkansas. The new CWD positive case brings the total number of CWD cases detected in free-ranging deer in Missouri to 76 since 2012.
“We will be working cooperatively with hunters and landowners in the coming months to test more deer in this area and assess the extent of the disease in Oregon County,” said Wildlife Disease Coordinator Jasmine Batten.
Hunters in or around Oregon County can have their deer tested during normal business hours at the Ozark Regional Office in West Plains. Hunters can bring the entire deer—preferably field dressed—or the head with at least 6 inches of the neck in place to the Conservation Department office and staff will take a sample for CWD testing.
Hunters who harvest deer and seek testing outside of business hours can remove the head, keep it cool, and bring it to the office during business hours. Additional sampling locations can be found online.
“Sampling deer that show possible signs of CWD is one important piece of our surveillance efforts, and we greatly appreciate the public’s assistance,” Batten said.
CWD is a fatal disease that effects deer and other cervids. There have been no cases of CWD infecting humans, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that hunters harvesting deer in areas known to have CWD to get their deer tested before consuming meat.
More information about CWD is available here.