MDC reports one new case of CWD, found in Adair County

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The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that one case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been found in an adult buck harvested by a hunter in Adair County. This is the first case of the deer disease found in Missouri since early 2013.

This new case represents the 11th free-ranging deer that has tested positive for CWD and brings the statewide total of captive and free-ranging cases of CWD to 22. All previous cases of CWD in free-ranging deer were from a small area of northwest Macon County where the disease was detected in a private hunting preserve in 2011.  CWD was first discovered in Missouri in 2010 at a private hunting preserve in southeast Linn County.

As done in the past three years, MDC is again working with hunters, landowners, taxidermists, and meat processors in north-central Missouri to collect tissue samples from adult deer harvested during the fall archery and firearms deer seasons. MDC will report a summary of all testing efforts and results in early 2015.

The Conservation Department encourages hunters to take deer harvested in MDC's CWD Containment Zone of Adair, Chariton, Linn, Macon, Randolph and Sullivan counties to one of numerous cooperating locations in the region to have a tissue sample taken for testing. Sampling locations include area taxidermists and the Northeast Regional MDC office in Kirksville during normal business hours. The sampling effort is taking place through the end of archery season, which closes the evening of Jan. 15, 2015.

Taking a tissue sample is free, takes only a few minutes and will not reduce the food or taxidermy value of harvested deer. Test results typically take 3-4 weeks and are posted for participating hunters on the MDC website. Since 2001, MDC has collected and tested more than 41,000 free-ranging deer for CWD statewide. This includes more than 7,800 samples since 2010 from free-ranging deer in north-central Missouri.

More information on CWD and a list of sample-collection locations can be found in MDC's 2014 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet available at MDC offices and nature centers, from permit vendors, and online at

Chronic wasting disease infects only deer and other members of the deer family by causing degeneration of the brain. The disease has no vaccine or cure and is 100-percent fatal. There is no evidence that the disease can affect humans.

Missouri offers some of the best deer hunting in the country, and deer hunting is an important part of many Missourians’ lives and family traditions. Infectious diseases such as CWD could reduce hunting and wildlife-watching opportunities for Missouri’s nearly 520,000 deer hunters and almost two million wildlife watchers.

Deer hunting is also an important economic driver in Missouri and gives a $1 billion annual boost to state and local economies. Lower deer numbers from infectious diseases such as CWD could hurt 12,000 Missouri jobs and many businesses that rely on deer hunting as a significant source of revenue, such as meat processors, taxidermists, hotels, restaurants, sporting goods stores, and others. CWD also threatens the investments of thousands of private landowners who manage their land for deer and deer hunting, and who rely on deer and deer hunting to maintain property values.