JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports it has completed its monitoring and testing efforts for the 2019-2020 chronic wasting disease (CWD) surveillance year. From those efforts, MDC reports it has confirmed 46 new cases of the deadly deer disease.
These new findings bring the total number of CWD cases in the state to 162. MDC has tested more than 137,000 deer since the first cases of CWD were found in free-ranging deer in Missouri in 2012.
The 46 new cases were found in the following counties: 3 in Adair, 6 in Franklin, 1 in Jefferson, 8 in Linn, 8 in Macon, 2 in Oregon, 2 in Perry, 1 in Polk, 10 in Ste Genevieve, 2 in Stone, and 3 in Taney.
Previously this season, MDC confirmed 25 of the 46 new cases of CWD in Missouri from nearly 29,000 tissue samples collected from white-tailed deer and submitted for disease testing. Most of the tissue samples were taken from hunter-harvested deer.
MDC has also confirmed an additional 21 of the 46 new cases of CWD through its post-season targeted culling efforts in January, February, and early March in areas where previous cases of CWD have been found. MDC thanks the 1,390 participating landowners who helped MDC staff remove nearly 2,400 deer in those areas to manage CWD.
All deer harvested through targeted culling that did not test positive for the disease were either returned to the landowner or donated to local food pantries through the Share the Harvest venison-donation program.
According to MDC, post-season targeted culling can help decrease CWD transmission by reducing the number of potentially infected deer within infected areas. Missouri and other states, such as Illinois, have successfully limited the percent of deer infected with CWD by sustaining a long-term, targeted-culling management program. For more information on MDC targeted culling efforts, visit mdc.mo.gov/cwd under “Post Season Targeted Culling.”
CWD is a deadly disease in white-tailed deer and other members of the deer family. The purpose of MDC’s CWD sampling and testing efforts is to find cases early so the Department can limit the spread of the disease by implementing management actions such as targeted culling. Learn more about CWD at mdc.mo.gov/cwd.