South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks confirms 12 counties infected with CWD

South Dakota News

A mule deer buck forages for edible leaves in the forest in Grand Teton National Park, Wyo., Aug 25, 2016. Aug 25, 2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the US National Park Service. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

PIERRE, S.D. (KCAU) – South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks (GFP) recently confirmed that twelve counties are infected with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), with eight more counties have been added since the fall of 2019.

South Dakota’s Endemic Counties are:

  • Bennett
  • Butte
  • Corson
  • Custer
  • Fall River
  • Haakon
  • Harding
  • Jackson
  • Meade
  • Lawrence
  • Pennington
  • Tripp
South Dakota’s CWD Endemic Counties include: Bennett, Butte, Corson, Custer, Fall River, Haakon, Harding, Jackson, Meade, Lawrence, Pennington and Tripp. Courtesy of South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks.

“We’ve learned that CWD is not a disease just restricted to the Black Hills and surrounding area and this definitely creates some challenges moving forward,” said GFP wildlife program administrator Chad Switzer. “As the surveillance efforts from the 2019 hunting seasons come to end, an update will be provided to the GFP Commission in March and a report will be made available to the public on our website.”

The agency said they confirmed that Butte, Corson, and Haakon counties in western South Dakota have CWD from samples provided by hunters.

Samples included one male white-tail deer from Butte and Corson counties and two male mule deer tested positive from Haakon County.

CWD is a fatal brain disease of deer, elk, and moose that is caused by an abnormal protein called a prion.

Animals in the later stages of the infection may show progressive loss of weight and body condition, behavioral changes, excessive salivation, loss of muscle control, and death.

GFP said that CWD is always fatal for the afflicted animal and poses serious problems for wildlife managers.

The implications of long-term management of CWD for free-ranging deer and elk is unknown.

GFP recently created regulations for the transportation and disposal of deer and elk carcasses from other states and hunting unites within South Dakota’s confirmed CWD areas.

The new regulations will not go into effect until later in 2020.

For more information on CWD, visit their website or contact your local GFP office.

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