CWD Tests Show No Detections of the Disease in Louisiana
June 7, 2018 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) did not detect chronic wasting disease during its initial testing of white-tailed deer in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes, LDWF announced during Thursday’s (June 7) Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) meeting.
As a result, the feeding ban enacted by LWFC in order to minimize comingling of animals at feeder locations in East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas parishes is officially rescinded today, Thursday, June 7, 2018. However, LDWF encourages hunters not to utilize supplemental feeds for hunting, as this increases the chance of spreading diseases among animals using bait stations.
The testing is part of LDWF’s CWD Response Plan that was triggered by the discovery of a buck that tested positive for CWD in Issaquena County, Mississippi, on Jan. 25. Issaquena County borders northeast Louisiana and the deer was found only a few miles from the Louisiana border on the east side of the Mississippi River.
LDWF sampled 300 deer within the buffer zone, which is within 25 miles of the case in Issaquena County. This sample size provides a 95 percent confidence interval that sampling would detect CWD at a prevalence rate of 1 percent.
CWD is a fatal neurodegenerative disease affecting members of the family Cervidae, which includes white-tailed deer. The disease is caused by misfolded proteins called prions. These prions can be shed in saliva, urine, feces and decomposing carcasses. Infectious material can contaminate soil, becoming available for uptake by plants, increasing transmission to additional individuals when plants are consumed.
CWD is 100 percent fatal. Once a deer consumes the prion and becomes infected, it develops clinical signs including weight loss, salivation, neurological signs and ultimately death. Clinical signs may not become apparent until 16 to 24 months after the deer is infected.
LDWF will perform increased hunter-harvested deer surveillance for CWD in East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas parishes this hunting season, and continue normal CWD surveillance across the state. LDWF has tested nearly 9,000 deer for CWD since 2002. CWD has not been detected in Louisiana.
For more information, contact LDWF veterinarian Dr. Jim LaCour at Jlacour@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0823.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov.