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No Signs of CWD – Feeding Ban Lifted

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order to minimize comingling of animals at feeder locations in East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas parishes is officially rescinded today, Thursday, June 7, 2018.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.

East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas Parish Feeding Ban Now in Effect

From News Report

March 6, 2018 – A ban on supplemental deer feeding in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes is now in effect in an effort to potentially curb the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD), recently discovered in Issaquena County, Mississippi, about five miles from the Louisiana border.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved a Declaration of Emergency to cease supplemental deer feeding in those parishes at its March meeting Thursday (March 1). It became effective Monday (March 5). To read the entire Declaration of Emergency go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items .

The action comes after the discovery of a buck that tested positive for CWD in Mississippi on Jan. 25. Issaquena County borders northeast Louisiana.

The action is part of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) CWD Response Plan, designed to monitor and curb the potential spread of CWD into Louisiana.

According to the declaration, the use of bait not normally ingested by deer for feral hog trapping will still be allowed.  All bait must be placed and contained within the trap itself. Backyard bird feeders are also exempt from the declaration.

Baits that are permitted include commercially sold baits formulated and labeled for feral hog trapping, commercial fish based baits and soured grains, including whole shell corn soaked in water and fermented. Rice bran, non-fermented or whole cracked corn, soybeans, protein pellets and commercial feeds formulated for deer are prohibited from use in feral hog traps during the ban.

CWD is a neurodegenerative disease found in most deer species, including moose, elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. It is infectious and always fatal. It is part of a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and is similar to BSE (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease) of cattle and scrapie in sheep. These diseases cause irreversible damage to brain tissue that leads to salivation, neurological symptoms, emaciation and death of the animal.

Deer infected with CWD can spread the disease even before symptoms develop. It can take one to two years for infected animals to become symptomatic. When symptoms appear, they can include emaciation, lethargy, abnormal behavior and loss of bodily functions. Other signs include excessive salivation, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, teeth grinding and drooping ears.

LDWF has tested more than 8,300 deer since 2002 and has not detected CWD. For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/CWD .