Sunday, November 30, 2008

Commentary: Crimes hurt essence of hunting

Commentary: Crimes hurt essence of hunting By SHANNON TOMPKINS Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle Nov. 29, 2008, 8:30PM

Two incidents this past week shine a light on the troubling way some value white-tailed deer.

Both underscore the effects of seeing white-tailed deer simply as objects or commodities and not as wildlife with deep, multifaceted intrinsic values.

One involved the criminal killing of a single deer simply for its antlers. The other potentially put Texas’ entire deer herd at risk. The common denominators were greed and an absence of understanding — or maybe even caring — of the incredible significance of how and why the average person chooses to hunt and perhaps take the life of a deer .

This past Monday night, a poacher or poachers killed and decapitated a tame white-tailed buck that lived in a small enclosure on Bear Creek Pioneers Park in western Harris County.

That only the head was taken shows the motive. The criminal wanted the antlers. And Mr. Buck, the naive deer in the pen, had an impressive set. High-sweeping main beams and abnormally long-brow tines made him a target.

Had the tame deer worn a pair of short, thin-spike antlers, it almost certainly would not have been a victim.

That someone would slaughter the deer simply to possess its antlers is telling.

Antler size always has been one of the characteristics hunters use to place personal value on a buck. But it was (and still is with most hunters) only a part of a tally that considers how the deer was hunted, the place it was hunted, the effort, skills and knowledge the hunter used pursuing it and, finally, getting the opportunity to make the animal his.

Today, sadly, antler dimensions (down to the eight-of-an-inch detail) too often are the only characteristic by which some gauge the value of a deer. How and why the deer was taken — the whole of the hunting experience — doesn’t matter to some. From that attitude you get people who will cut into a tiny pen and decapitate a deer that had lost all natural wariness.

Ignorance spreads The second incident is more complicated but, at its heart, reflects the same perverted valuing of deer.

Federal District Judge Richard Schell this past week sentenced Robert L. Eichenour of Bedias to 18 months in federal prison and a $50,000 fine and Brian Becker of Madelia, Minn., to 33 months in federal prison for felon violations of the Lacey Act, which makes the transporting of wildlife across state lines in violation of state laws a federal offense.

Both men had pleaded guilty to the charges earlier this year.

Eichenour, owner of Circle E Ranch in Grimes County, a fenced game-shooting business that charges clients fees based on the antler dimensions of the deer they take, and Becker, who has previous convictions for wildlife violations, were apprehended in an October 2006 undercover operation conducted by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s special operations unit and agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The pair were caught illegally transporting 14 white-tailed bucks from Minnesota to Texas, where the deer were headed for the Circle E Ranch’s operation.

The investigation determined the pair had, over a four-year period, smuggled deer valued at $300,000 into Texas.

While the shooting of deer inside an enclosure is legal in Texas, bringing deer into the state for any reason is illegal. And the reason is a contagious, invariably fatal affliction called Chronic Wasting Disease.

The hideous illness can be latent in animals for years, transmitted to other deer by contact or by contaminated soil.

CWD was first documented in Colorado in the 1970s in a compound that held captive deer and elk. It had spread to wild populations by the early 1980s.

Today, CWD has been documented in wild deer/elk populations in 11 states and two Canadian provinces and in captive deer (or deer farms) in 10 states and two provinces. Minnesota is one of those states.

For the love of money Transporting and releasing captive-farmed deer from an infected herd is seen as one of the main methods of the disease’s expansion. And getting rid of it is impossible.

“CWD is forever,” said Bryan Richards, Chronic Wasting Disease Project Leader at USGS National Wildlife Health Center. “Once it is established in a wild population, there has never been an instance of eradicating it.”

Wisconsin is trying, having spent more $6 million a year in the effort — one that includes “depopulating” wild herds found to be carrying CWD.

The disease has not been documented in Texas, and the state wants to keep it that way. State law prohibits bringing any live deer into Texas.

But “night hauling” — smuggling captive-raised deer into the state for use in “drop-and-pop” shooting preserves — happens. There’s too much money to be made. Never mind that any one of those deer could be carrying CWD.

“It’s a crime of greed,” said Shamoil Shipchandler, assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the Eichenour/Becker cases. “Deer and deer hunting are a multibillion dollar industry in Texas, and it’s all risked by this kind of conduct.”

Listen to that TPWD has made several cases over the past couple of years involving the smuggling of deer, including one near Goldthwaite this past month, said David Sinclair of TPWD’s law enforcement division.

“There seems to be more going on that you might imagine,” Sinclair said.

One problem has been Texas’ lax laws on those caught smuggling deer. Under Texas law, illegally transporting live deer is a Class C misdemeanor.

But the federal Lacey Act can turn that misdemeanor and $500 fine into a federal felony case and potential prison time.

The sentencing of Eichenour and Becker to prison for deer smuggling is the first time Sinclair can recall deer smugglers being sent to jail.

“This ought to get somebody’s attention,” he said.


North American Cervids Harbor Two Distinct CWD Strains


Angers, R. Seward, T, Napier, D., Browning, S., Miller, M., Balachandran A., McKenzie, D., Hoover, E., Telling, G. 'University of Kentucky; Colorado Division of Wildlife, Canadian Food Inspection Agency; University Of Wisconsin; Colorado State University.


Despite the increasing geographic distribution and host range of CWD, little is known about the prion strain(s) responsible for distinct outbreaks of the disease. To address this we inoculated CWD-susceptible Tg(CerPrP)1536+/· mice with 29 individual prion samples from various geographic locations in North America. Upon serial passage, intrastudy incubation periods consistently diverged and clustered into two main groups with means around 210 and 290 days, with corresponding differences in neuropathology. Prion strain designations were utilized to distinguish between the two groups: Type I CWD mice succumbed to disease in the 200 day range and displayed a symmetrical pattern of vacuolation and PrPSc deposition, whereas Type II CWD mice succumbed to disease near 300 days and displayed a strikingly different pattern characterized by large local accumulations of florid plaques distributed asymmetrically. Type II CWD bears a striking resemblance to unstable parental scrapie strains such as 87A which give rise to stable, short incubation period strains such as ME7 under certain passage conditions. In agreement, the only groups of CWD-inoculated mice with unwavering incubation periods were those with Type I CWD. Additionally, following endpoint titration of a CWD sample, Type I CWD could be recovered only at the lowest dilution tested (10-1), whereas Type II CWD was detected in mice inoculated with all dilutions resulting in disease. Although strain properties are believed to be encoded in the tertiary structure of the infectious prion protein, we found no biochemical differences between Type I and Type II CWD. Our data confirm the co·existence of two distinct prion strains in CWD-infected cervids and suggest that Type II CWD is the parent strain of Type I CWD.

see page 29, and see other CWD studies ;

Sunday, November 23, 2008

PRION October 8th - 10th 2008 Book of Abstracts

Saturday, September 06, 2008 Chronic wasting disease in a Wisconsin white-tailed deer farm 79% INFECTION RATE Contents: September 1 2008, Volume 20, Issue 5

Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation Vol. 20 Issue 5, 698-703 Copyright © 2008 by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians


Case Reports

Chronic wasting disease in a Wisconsin white-tailed deer farm

Delwyn P. Keane1, Daniel J. Barr, Philip N. Bochsler, S. Mark Hall, Thomas Gidlewski, Katherine I. O'Rourke, Terry R. Spraker and Michael D. Samuel Correspondence: 1Corresponding Author: Delwyn Keane, University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, 445 Easterday Lane, Madison, WI 53706.

In September 2002, chronic wasting disease (CWD), a prion disorder of captive and wild cervids, was diagnosed in a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) from a captive farm in Wisconsin. The facility was subsequently quarantined, and in January 2006 the remaining 76 deer were depopulated. Sixty animals (79%) were found to be positive by immunohistochemical staining for the abnormal prion protein (PrPCWD) in at least one tissue; the prevalence of positive staining was high even in young deer. Although none of the deer displayed clinical signs suggestive of CWD at depopulation, 49 deer had considerable accumulation of the abnormal prion in the medulla at the level of the obex. Extraneural accumulation of the abnormal protein was observed in 59 deer, with accumulation in the retropharyngeal lymph node in 58 of 59 (98%), in the tonsil in 56 of 59 (95%), and in the rectal mucosal lymphoid tissue in 48 of 58 (83%). The retina was positive in 4 deer, all with marked accumulation of prion in the obex. One deer was considered positive for PrPCWD in the brain but not in the extraneural tissue, a novel observation in white-tailed deer. The infection rate in captive deer was 20-fold higher than in wild deer. Although weakly related to infection rates in extraneural tissues, prion genotype was strongly linked to progression of prion accumulation in the obex. Antemortem testing by biopsy of recto–anal mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (or other peripheral lymphoid tissue) may be a useful adjunct to tonsil biopsy for surveillance in captive herds at risk for CWD infection.


Title: Chronic wasting disease in a Wisconsin captive white-tailed deer farm


Keane, Delwyn - U OF WIS, WIS VET DIAG LA Barr, Daniel - U OF WIS, WIS VET DIAG LA Bochsler, Philip - U OF WIS, WIS VET DIAG LA Hall, S - USDA, APHIS, VS, NVSL Gidlewski, Thomas - USDA, APHIS, VS O`rourke, Katherine Spraker, Terry - CO STATE UNIVERSITY Samuel, Michael - US GEOLOGIC SERVICE

Submitted to: Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal Publication Acceptance Date: May 5, 2008 Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Chronic wasting disease is a fatal disease of deer and elk. Clinical signs, including weight loss, frequent urination, excessive thirst, and changes in behavior and gait, have been reported in mule deer and elk with this disorder. Clinical signs in captive white tailed deer are less well understood. In a previous study, a captive facility housed 200 deer, of which half were positive for the disease with no clinical signs reported. In this study, we examined 78 white tailed deer from a captive facility with a history of chronic wasting disease and no animals with clinical signs. Examination of the brain and lymph nodes demonstrated that the abnormal prion protein, a marker for disease, was observed in 60 of the deer. Biopsy of the rectal mucosa, a test that can be performed on live deer, detected 83% of the infected animals. The prion genetics of the deer was strongly linked to the rate of infection and to disease progression. The results demonstrate that clinical signs are a poor indicator of the disease in captive white tailed deer and that routine testing of live deer and comprehensive necropsy surveillance may be needed to identify infected herds. Technical Abstract: Chronic wasting disease CWD is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy or prion disease of deer and elk in North America. All diseases in this family are characterized by long preclinical incubation periods following by a relatively short clinical course. Endpoint disease is characterized by extensive deposits of aggregates of the abnormal prion protein in the central nervous system,. In deer, the abnormal prion proteins accumulate in some peripheral lymphoid tissues early in disease and are therefore suitable for antemortem and preclinical postmortem diagnostics and for determining disease progression in infected deer. In this study, a herd of deer with previous CWD diagnoses was depopulated. No clinical suspects were identified at that time. Examination of the brain and nodes demonstrated that 79% of the deer were infected. Of the deer with abnormal prion in the peripheral lymphoid system, the retropharyngeal lymph node was the most reliable diagnostic tissue. Biopsy of the rectal mucosal tissue, a site readily sampled in the restrained or chemically immobilized deer, provided an accurate diagnosis in 83% of the infected deer. The retina in the eye of the deer was positive only in late stage cases. This study demonstrated that clinical signs are a poor indicator of disease, supports the use of the retropharyngeal lymph node as the most appropriate postmortem sample, and supports a further evaluation of the rectal mucosal tissue biopsy as an antemortem test on a herd basis.


Vol. 9, No. 5 May 2003


Chronic Wasting Disease in Free-Ranging Wisconsin White-Tailed Deer Damien O. Joly,* Christine A. Ribic,* Julie A. Langenberg,† Kerry Beheler,† Carl A. Batha,† Brian J. Dhuey,‡ Robert E. Rolley,‡ Gerald Bartelt,‡ Timothy R. Van Deelen,§; and Michael D. Samuel*¶ *United States Geological Survey-Wisconsin Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA; †Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, Wisconsin, USA; ‡Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Monona, Wisconsin, USA; §Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, USA; and ¶United States Geological Survey–National Wildlife Health Center, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Suggested citation for this article: Joly DO, Ribic CA, Langenberg JA, Beheler K, Batha CA, Dhuey BJ, et al. Chronic wasting disease in free-ranging Wisconsin white-tailed deer. Emerg Infect Dis [serial online] 2003 May [date cited]. Available from: URL:


Three White-tailed Deer shot within 5 km during the 2001 hunting season in Wisconsin tested positive for chronic wasting disease, a prion disease of cervids. Subsequent sampling within 18 km showed a 3% prevalence (n=476). This discovery represents an important range extension for chronic wasting disease into the eastern United States.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is degenerative and usually considered to be fatal in White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Mule Deer (O. hemionus), and Elk (Cervus elaphus) associated with the presence of transmissible protease-resistant prion proteins (PrPcwd) (1,2). Although the transmission route of PrPcwd is unknown, it may be transmitted in deer and elk by direct contact or indirectly from the environment (1,2). In experiments, clinical signs have appeared as early as 15 months after exposure (1) and include weight loss, anorexia, repetitive behaviors, hyperesthesia, and intractability. Signs progress to severe emaciation, extreme behavioral changes, excessive salivation, tremors, and mild ataxia (1,2). CWD was first recognized in captive Mule Deer in Colorado (3) and subsequently described in the free-ranging cervid populations of Colorado and Wyoming (1); prevalence in these disease-endemic areas varies spatially and among the three sympatric cervid species (4). Before its discovery in Wisconsin, CWD was detected in captive cervid farms in Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Kansas, Montana (USA), as well as Alberta, Saskatchewan (Canada), and South Korea (1). Apart from the contiguous areas of Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska, CWD had previously only been detected in two free-ranging Mule Deer from Saskatchewan, one Mule Deer from South Dakota, and in a number of Mule Deer from the western slopes region of Colorado (1). Previously, no cases of CWD were reported east of the Mississippi; however, subsequent to our research, CWD-positive cervids were found in Minnesota (captive Elk), Wisconsin (captive White-tailed Deer and Elk), and Illinois (free-ranging White-tailed Deer). Further, west of the Mississippi, the following CWD-positive animals have been found: Mule Deer in New Mexico and Utah; free-ranging Mule and White-tailed Deer in Saskatchewan, Canada; and captive Elk and White-tailed Deer in Alberta, Canada.

The Study In autumn of 1999 and 2000, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) submitted to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) (Ames, Iowa) brain material (obex) from 657 hunter-killed White-tailed Deer registered at hunter check stations across the state. None came from the study area we describe. Samples were tested for CWD prion by immunohistochemistry (IHC) (5). Prion was not detected in any samples. However, 3 of 445 White-tailed Deer shot in autumn of 2001 were positive for CWD. These deer were males, 2.5 years of age, and were shot within 5 km in south-central Wisconsin. WDNR subsequently conducted a sampling program to assess the distribution and prevalence of CWD in the vicinity of these three positive deer. We report the results of this sampling program.

Samples were collected from 500 adult (>1 year of age) White-tailed Deer within an approximate 18-km radius, and all samples were tested for CWD. Deer were submitted by hunters who were issued scientific collection permits, collected at roadside after vehicular collison, or collected by WDNR or U.S. Department of Agriculture sharpshooters. Data from collected deer included the geographic location based on the Wisconsin Public Land Survey System (township-range-section), sex, and age (estimated by using tooth eruption and tooth wear patterns [6]). Location of kill was indicated on a map by hunters during interviews by DNR staff. Samples of brain stem (obex) and retropharyngeal lymphatic tissue were fixed in 10% buffered formalin and submitted to NVSL for testing using IHC. We considered a deer to be CWD positive if either obex or retropharyngeal samples were IHC positive (1).

We used the spatial scan statistic provided by Kulldorff and Nagarwalla (7) (program SaTScan available from: URL: to assess the presence and location of CWD clusters within the surveillance area. Location data were collected to the survey unit “section” (approximately 2.6 km2). We pooled locations into 4X4 section quadrats for analysis to compensate for sections from which no deer were collected. In a separate analysis, sex and age were assessed as predictors of CWD status by using logistic regression (function glm in program R v. 1.5.0; available from: URL: (8). Model selection uncertainty was incorporated into the odds ratio (OR) estimates by using model averaging (9).

Results and Discussion

From March 2 to April 9, 2002, samples were collected from 505 deer; however, 29 deer were not included in the analysis because of sample autolysis, inappropriate tissue submission, or lack of availability of appropriate tissues (e.g., deer with no intact cranium or those shot in the head). Of the remaining 476 deer (87 males, 386 females, and 3 for which sex was not recorded), 15 (3.2%; 95% confidence limit [CI] 1.7% to 5.1%) were IHC positive, 11 in both obex and retropharyngeal lymph node samples and 4 from lymph nodes only. We inferred that deer that were only lymph node positive were in the earlier states of infection (1). Estimated prevalence varied spatially within the surveillance area. A cluster of higher than expected prevalence was detected in the north-central region of the sampling area (prevalence 9.4%; 95% CI 5.0% to 16.0%; p=0.003; n=127) (Figure).

Prevalence did not vary by sex (males: 3.4%, 95% CI 0.1% to 9.7%, n=87; females: 3.1%, 95% CI 1.6% to 5.3%, n=386; male vs. female OR 1.1, 95% CI 0.56 to 2.19), a pattern consistent with Mule Deer sampled in Colorado and Wyoming (4). Increasing prevalence with age was suggested, although we could not distinguish whether the OR differed from 1 (OR 1.13, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.39). We had a small sample (n=32) of older animals (>5 years of age), which weakened our ability to detect an increase in prevalence with age statistically. Miller et al. (4) found that CWD prevalence increased with age in male Mule Deer and then abruptly declined in older age classes. We did not have a sufficient sample size to evaluate a sex difference in prevalence by age.

The known range of CWD was extended by its detection in Wisconsin, which is the first report of the disease east of the Mississippi River. Although we do not know how the free-ranging deer population of Wisconsin became affected by CWD, the most commonly suggested hypothesis is that CWD in Wisconsin may have emerged through importing of an affected cervid. The current enzootic of CWD in free-ranging deer and elk is paralleled by an enzootic in the captive cervid industry, and the relationship between CWD-affected elk farms and recent (2000–2002) diagnoses of CWD in free-ranging deer in Nebraska, South Dakota, and Saskatchewan remains under investigation (1). Elk were imported to Wisconsin from CWD-affected herds in Colorado during the 1990s, and recently (September and October 2002) captive White-tailed Deer were found to be positive on two separate farms in central and southern Wisconsin (10). Furthermore, during epidemiologic investigations of these positive farms, WDNR discovered that deer had escaped in March 2002 from one of these farms, one of which was later shot and found to be CWD positive (9). We stress that these positive captive deer are likely not the source of CWD in this free-ranging White-tailed Deer outbreak because of the captive deer’s distance from the area where the CWD-positive free-ranging deer are (approximately 130 km). No direct evidence exists that CWD came to Wisconsin by the captive cervid industry. However, further investigation on possible links between CWD cases in captive and free-ranging cervids in Wisconsin is ongoing.

Conclusions The state of Wisconsin is undertaking an integrated research, surveillance, and management program to determine the distribution of CWD in the Wisconsin free-ranging deer population and eventually eliminating the disease from the known affected area of south-central Wisconsin (10,11). As of March 2003, a total of 39,636 deer had been sampled statewide for CWD as part of this surveillance and management program (data are available from: URL: Computer simulation of CWD dynamics in western cervid populations (12) indicated that CWD could severely reduce deer numbers. Disease transmission may occur at a greater rate and consequently have a larger impact on the population in the eastern United States, where White-tailed Deer densities are typically an order of magnitude larger than western deer and elk populations (e.g., deer densities in the CWD-affected area are estimated to be currently >20 deer per km2) (WDNR, unpub. data). Deer and deer-related activities, such as hunting, wildlife viewing, and other social factors, are an important component of the Wisconsin culture and economy (approximately $1 billion/year) (13), prompting an aggressive research and management strategy to combat CWD in Wisconsin’s free-ranging deer population.



Wednesday, September 03, 2008 Accelerated High Fidelity Prion Amplification Within and Across Prion Species Barriers



Quantifying the Species Barrier in Chronic Wasting Disease by a Novel in vitro Conversion Assay

Li, L1; Coulthart, MB2; Balachandran, A3; Chakrabartty, A4; Cashman, NR1 1University of British Columbia, Brain Research Centre, Canada; 2Public Health Agency of Canada, National Microbiology Laboratory, Canada; 3Animal Diseases Research Institute, Canada Food Inspection Agency, National Reference Laboratory for Scrapie and CWD, Canada; 4Ontario Cancer Institute and Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Canada

Background: Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy that can affect North American cervids (deer, elk, and moose). Although the risk of CWD crossing the species barrier and causing human disease is still unknown, however, definite bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) transmission to humans as variant CJD (vCJD), it would seem prudent to limit the exposure of humans to CWD.

Aim: In view of the fact that BSE can be readily transmitted to non-bovid species, it is important to establish the species susceptibility range of CWD.

Methods: In vitro conversion system was performed by incubation of prions with normal brain homogenates as described before, and protease K (PK) resistant PrP was determined by immunoblotting with 6H4 monoclonal prion antibody.

Results: Our results demonstrate that PrPC from cervids (including moose) can be efficiently converted to a protease-resistant form by incubation with elk CWD prions, presumably due to sequence and structural similarities between these species. Interestingly, hamster shows a high conversion ratio by PrPCWD. Moreover, partial denaturation of substrate PrPC can apparently overcome the structural barriers between more distant species.

Conclusions: Our work correctly predicted the transmission of CWD to a wild moose. We find a species barrier for prion protein conversion between cervids and other species, however, this barrier might be overcome if the PrPC substrate has been partially denatured in a cellular environment. Such an environment might also promote CWD transmission to non-cervid species, *** including humans. Acid/GdnHCl-treated brain PrPC was a superior substrate for the in vitro conversion than PrPC treated at physiological pH. This has implications for the process by which the prion protein is converted in disease.

Subject: DOCKET-- 03D-0186 -- FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Use of Material From Deer and Elk in Animal Feed; Availability Date: Fri, 16 May 2003 11:47:37 -0500 From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr." To:

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A prion disease of cervids: Chronic wasting disease

2008 1: Vet Res. 2008 Apr 3;39(4):41

A prion disease of cervids: Chronic wasting disease

Sigurdson CJ.


*** twenty-seven CJD patients who regularly consumed venison were reported to the Surveillance Center***,


full text ;

The statistical incidence of CJD cases in the United States has been revised to reflect that there is one case per 9000 in adults age 55 and older. Eighty-five percent of the cases are sporadic, meaning there is no known cause at present.


Subject: CWD 3 NEW CASES SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO Date: July 10, 2006 at 8:51 am PST New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Media contact: Dan Williams, (505) 476-8004 Public contact: (505) 476-8000



SANTA FE – Three deer in southern New Mexico have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, bringing the total number of confirmed CWD-infected deer in the state to 15 since the first infected deer was discovered in 2002.

The Department received test results Wednesday from the state Veterinary Diagnostic Services laboratory in Albuquerque that two wild deer captured near the White Sands Missile Range headquarters east of Las Cruces had tested positive for chronic wasting disease. A third wild deer captured in the small community of Timberon in the southern Sacramento Mountains also tested positive for the disease.

The discoveries of the infected deer were part of the Department's ongoing efforts to monitor the disease, which to date has been confined to the southern Sacramento Mountains southeast of Cloudcroft and areas surrounding the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces. Two wild elk from the southern Sacramento Mountains tested positive for the disease in December 2005.

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological illness that afflicts deer, elk and moose. There is no evidence of CWD being transmitted to humans or livestock. The disease causes animals to become emaciated, display abnormal behavior and lose control of bodily functions. To date, it has been found in captive and wild deer, elk and moose in eight states and two Canadian provinces.

For more information about CWD in New Mexico and how hunters can assist in research and prevention, please visit the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Web site, . More information about CWD also can be found on the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance site at .




CWD Sampling Maps

Three Year Summary of Hunter-Kill CWD Sampling (as of August 31, 2005)

CWD Sampling Maps Three Year Summary of Hunter-Kill CWD Sampling (as of August 31, 2005) USDA CWD Maps March 2006 — Current Distribution of CWD TAHC CWD Monitoring Program Information CWD Sample Submission and Costs 2006 Factsheet For Producers Enrolling in the Complete Herd Monitoring Program USDA CWD Maps March 2006 — Current Distribution of CWD TAHC CWD Monitoring Program Information CWD Sample Submission and Costs 2006 Factsheet For Producers Enrolling in the Complete Herd Monitoring Program ----- Original Message ----- From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr." To: Sent: Monday, June 27, 2005 6:51 PM Subject: CWD TWO NEW CASES NEAR WHITE SANDS MISSLE RANGE NEW MEXICO

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################


New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

Contact: Dan Williams, (505) 476-8004



SANTA FE – Two mule deer captured in the Organ Mountains as part of an ongoing research project near White

Sands Missile Range have tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease that

attacks the brains of infected deer and elk, the Department of Game and Fish announced.

The number of confirmed CWD cases in New Mexico now stands at 11 since 2002, when the disease was first

confirmed in a deer found near the eastern foothills of the Organ Mountains. All 11 CWD-infected deer were found

in the same general area of southern New Mexico. The origin of the disease in New Mexico remains unknown.

The carcasses of the infected deer will be incinerated, said Kerry Mower, the Department’s lead wildlife disease


Chronic wasting disease causes animals to become emaciated, display abnormal behavior, lose bodily functions

and die. The disease has been found in wild deer and elk, and in captive deer and elk, in eight states and two

Canadian provinces. There currently is no evidence of CWD being transmitted to humans or livestock.

Mower said the most recent CWD-positive deer showed no obvious physical signs of having the disease. They

were captured in April 2005 and tested as part of a 3-year-old research project studying deer population dynamics

in southern New Mexico. More than 140 deer have been captured alive and tested for the study, in which

researchers hope to find the cause of a 10-year decline in the area deer population. Study participants include the

Department of Game and Fish, the U.S. Army at White Sands Missile Range and Fort Bliss, Bureau of Land

Management, U.S. Geological Survey at New Mexico State University, and San Andres National Wildlife Refuge.

Hunters can assist the Department in its CWD research and prevention efforts by bringing their fresh, legally

harvested deer or elk head to an area office, where officers will remove the brain stem for testing. Participants will

be eligible for drawings for an oryx hunt on White Sands Missile Range and a trophy elk hunt on the Valle Vidal.

For more information about the drawing and chronic wasting disease, visit the Department web site at


SEEMS TO ME, TEXAS is not sampling enough along it's borders with NM ;



##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################


New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

Contact: Dan Williams, (505) 476-8004





SANTA FE – Two mule deer captured in the Organ Mountains as part of an ongoing research project near White

Sands Missile Range have tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease that

attacks the brains of infected deer and elk, the Department of Game and Fish announced.

The number of confirmed CWD cases in New Mexico now stands at 11 since 2002, when the disease was first

confirmed in a deer found near the eastern foothills of the Organ Mountains. All 11 CWD-infected deer were found

in the same general area of southern New Mexico. The origin of the disease in New Mexico remains unknown.

The carcasses of the infected deer will be incinerated, said Kerry Mower, the Department’s lead wildlife disease


Chronic wasting disease causes animals to become emaciated, display abnormal behavior, lose bodily functions

and die. The disease has been found in wild deer and elk, and in captive deer and elk, in eight states and two

Canadian provinces. There currently is no evidence of CWD being transmitted to humans or livestock.

Mower said the most recent CWD-positive deer showed no obvious physical signs of having the disease. They

were captured in April 2005 and tested as part of a 3-year-old research project studying deer population dynamics

in southern New Mexico. More than 140 deer have been captured alive and tested for the study, in which

researchers hope to find the cause of a 10-year decline in the area deer population. Study participants include the

Department of Game and Fish, the U.S. Army at White Sands Missile Range and Fort Bliss, Bureau of Land

Management, U.S. Geological Survey at New Mexico State University, and San Andres National Wildlife Refuge.

Hunters can assist the Department in its CWD research and prevention efforts by bringing their fresh, legally

harvested deer or elk head to an area office, where officers will remove the brain stem for testing. Participants will

be eligible for drawings for an oryx hunt on White Sands Missile Range and a trophy elk hunt on the Valle Vidal.

For more information about the drawing and chronic wasting disease, visit the Department web site at


Greetings list members,

I am deeply concerned with these CWD mad deer so close to the Texas border. WHAT keeps them from crossing the border to Texas ??? IF these illegal aliens can so easily cross our borders, why not these infected deer? maybe we should get these minute men to start watching for mad deer coming in to Texas from New Mexico.

I mentioned my concerns several other times before;

-------- Original Message -------- Subject: Current status of CWD testing in Texas Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 09:09:47 -0500 From: "kschwaus" To:

Mr. Singeltary,

I was asked to provide you with the following information. If you have any other questions regarding CWD sampling in Texas, please do not hesitate to give me a call. My office number is below.

Below I have included a chart showing CWD samples that have been tested since the fall of 2002 through the present at the eco-region level. The second chart shows the totals on a given year. The unknown location samples come from private individuals sending in samples directly to the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab (TVMDL). Due to the confidentiality laws that the TVMDL operates under, they are unable to provide TPWD with the location of those samples.

Region Population Estimate

Sampling from Fall 2002 to Present




Gulf Prairie



Post Oak Savannah



Black Land Prairies



Cross Timbers



Edwards Plateau



South Texas Plains



Rolling Plains



High Plains



Trans Pecos



Unknown Location





Samples Collected By








Private (unknown location)








Thank you,

Kevin Schwausch

Big Game Program Specialist

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

PO Box 1394

Burnet, TX 78611



I would like to thank Kevin and TPWD for there prompt reply with updated data.

I am still concerned about the Texas, New Mexico border and New Mexico's apparent lack of CWD testing updates. Makes one wonder about there CWD testing program. NO report/reply back from New Mexico about there CWD testing update yet. ...



-------- Original Message -------- Subject: CWD SURVEILLANCE TEXAS UPDATE (kinda) Date: Mon, 9 May 2005 14:52:48 -0500 From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr." Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy To:

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################


A geographically-focused free-ranging cervid Monitoring Program was implemented during the fall 2002 deer-hunting season. Brain stem samples from hunter-killed deer will be obtained from TPWD Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), State Parks, and where otherwise available with hunter and/or landowner permission, from deer taken on private land. Volume 1, Sixth Edition of United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, Regulatory Statistics (Appendix D1 ) indicates that 148 samples is sufficient to detect disease at two per-cent prevalence, regardless of the population size. Therefore the goal is to acquire 148 samples from each of the State's ten ecoregions provided adequate sampling distribution is achieved across each ecoregion. The five year 2002 -2006, goal is to cumulatively collect 459 samples from each of the ten ecoregions. The cumulative sample would be used statistically to detect CWD at one per-cent prevalence level with 99 per-cent confidence. However, funding from APHIS/USDA could provide the necessary funds for sampling at the one per-cent prevalence level each year. TAHC conducted a risk assessment of counties where deer and elk have been imported and where high densities of free-ranging deer occur. The assessment was conducted for USDA funding consideration. The risk assessment was based on limited number of criteria. Since CWD could potentially occur anywhere in Texas, monitoring efforts would be focused to achieve a stratified sampling scheme across each ecoregion of the State.

Confidentiality laws restrict the type of data TPWD personnel can collect as it relates to a specific parcel of land. Therefore, personnel will ensure that no property specific information is collected (i.e. ranch name or exact location) without the landowner's written permission. The following are guidelines for data and sample collection distributed to TPWD personnel prior to sample collection:

1. A Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) Accession Form must be submitted with brain stem samples. 2. The most important items to be filled out are the TPWD employee name, address and phone number, and "Patient/Deer ID". County of Kill can be recorded on the bottom of the form, but DO NOT report any information that identifies the specific parcel of land. 3. The "Patient/Deer ID" number MUST BE specific to the field data sheet the employee is using to record data. 4. Specific CWD field data sheets will not be provided, as current field data sheets (i.e. Age/Weight Antler Data Sheets, Hunter Check Station Data Sheets, etc.) will be appropriate in most cases. Field staff may produce their own CWD data sheet if necessary. 5. The field data sheet must contain: 1. Employee Name 2. Sample Number (same as Patient/Deer ID on TVMDL Accession Form 3. Sample Date 4. Deer Age 5. Deer Sex 6. County of Kill 7. Hunter Name 8. Hunting License Number 9. Ranch name or tract name/location ONLY with landowner permission. 6. Should a CWD positive be detected, TAHC will use hunter contact information to conduct CWD investigation under their regulatory authority. 7. Make sure the container containing the brain stem sample is legibly identified with the sample number, deer age and sex, county of kill and date. Although the sample number is all that is needed, additional information will help resolve any problems should batches of samples be combined. 8. Should a landowner retain deer heads for our sampling purposes, remind the landowner to issue the hunters a proof of sex document as provided for in TAHC 65.10 (c). In addition, a Wildlife resource document (PWD 905) must accompany the head until the carcass reaches a final destination and finally processed. 9. Samples MAY NOT be taken from legally harvested deer without the hunter's consent.


Should sampling detect a CWD positive animal, TAHC and TPWD would activate the Media Response Plan (Appendix F ). TAHC and TPWD would immediately begin review of the information at hand and determine the action to be taken within the Response Plan (Appendix C .) The first action should be to inform landowners adjacent to the property containing the CWD positive and hold a meeting with advisory committees and affected landowner to discuss plans for secondary sampling. Planning for secondary sampling, investigating movements of deer into and away from property for further actions would then be the next step. The secondary sampling is critical for determining distribution and prevalence of the disease.

As distribution and prevalence is being determined, information review and discussions with TPWD advisory committees (e.g., Private Lands Advisory Board, Hunting Advisory Committee, White-tailed Deer Advisory Committee etc.) and landowners would take place in order to determine the appropriate management action to be taken.

APPENDIX A: Results of CWD Sampling

Sampling and testing results for CWD from June, 2002 to April 1, 2003 are presented below:

Sampling and testing results for CWD from June, 2002 to April 1, 2003 TPWD TAHC Private Sector 1349 CWD Negative Deer 335 CWD Negative Deer 336 CWD Negative Deer 23 CWD Negative Exotics No Exotics No Exotics 1372 Total 335 Total 336 Total

The Grand Total of all samples collected and known 4/1/03 is 2043 of which 2020 deer and 23 exotics were found CWD negative. Samples were collected from 143 of 254 counties in Texas, and seven counties had 50 or more samples collected. Five ecoregions had 160 or more samples collected (150 samples from each ecoregion was the goal). The geographic distribution of sampling is currently not considered adequate for determining whether or not CWD exists in Texas (see map pg. 15). The goal is to improve upon distribution of samples collected within ecoregions and within counties. The goal of 2003-2004 and the next three to five years, is to collect 5000 samples (500 from each ecoregion) each sample year. The increased sampling is to have a 99 per-cent confidence level in detecting CWD if only one per-cent of the population is infected. Long-term surveillance sampling for CWD is required, as little is known about the incubation and infectious periods of the disease.

fig1AppendixA (18K)


APPENDIX B: Chronic Wasting Disease - Status of Current Knowledge

Occurrence and Distribution

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, which is a disease that alters the structure of the brain, in a way that resembles a sponge-like appearance and texture. Much is not known about CWD, including its origin, exact mode of transmission, and the causative or etiological agent. The source of CWD may be related in some way to scrapie in domestic sheep; it may "represent a spontaneous, naturally occurring" form of this disease in cervids thought to be caused by a "low virus infection." A more plausible theory is that CWD is caused by a point mutation of a membrane-bound protein resulting in accumulations of proteinase-resistant proteins called "prions" in the brain (medulla oblongata), tonsils (in deer only), and lymphoid tissue.

The only known long-term distribution of CWD in free-ranging susceptible cervids includes two contiguous local areas in northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming. Up to 15% and less than 1% prevalence were reported for mule deer and elk, respectively, in certain management units. Two cases of CWD occurred in mule deer in the southwestern corner of the panhandle of Nebraska, which is close to the endemic area of Colorado and Wyoming. Both of these latter animals were close enough to have originated from the endemic area. More recently, CWD was diagnosed in deer in Nebraska within and outside a fenced pasture of a captive operation where elk were diagnosed with the disease. Infections in captive elk also have been documented in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Kansas. In early 2002, CWD was detected in free-ranging white-tailed deer in South Dakota and Wisconsin, later the disease was found in breeder pens in northern Wisconsin. Cases of CWD have been documented in captive elk and free ranging mule deer in Saskatchewan and Ontario as well. New Mexico discovered CWD in a free-ranging mule deer on the White Sands Missile Range, Minnesota found CWD in a captive elk herd, Illinois detected CWD in a free-ranging white-tailed deer and an infected white-tailed deer was found in a breeding facility in Alberta.

Incubation, Transmission, and Clinical Course of CWD

Incubation time, that time from infection to appearance of clinical signs, typically is less than 2 years (18-24 months). However, incubation time can be variable and ranges up to 36 months. The exact mode of transmission of CWD is unknown; however, circumstantial and experimental data indicate horizontal (or lateral) transmission in captive susceptible cervids, either by direct animal-to-animal contact or by environmental contamination. For susceptible cervids, the routes of transmission are presumed to be by exposure to saliva, urine, feces, or placental tissue, with infection occurring through the alimentary canal (mouth/nose - esophagus - stomach - intestines). If this transmission mode is confirmed for free-ranging deer or elk, it could potentially exacerbate the risk of infection. In contrast to outbreaks of mad cow disease, where exposure to animal protein-contaminated feed was documented, this has not been the case for captive or wild cervids infected with CWD. Presently, feed contamination is not considered a likely underlying transmission mechanism. Whereas, the importance of maternal transmission (mother to fetus or nursing young) as a mode of scrapie transmission in domestic sheep has at least been debated, its importance relative to CWD persistence in captive and wild cervid herds has been contraindicated thus far by current reports. Although the route of agent shedding from infected individuals is presently unknown, it is believed that the rate of agent shedding may very well increase as the disease progresses. Thus far, evidence also indicates that there is no difference between males and females or across age classes in susceptibility to CWD.

Importantly, natural transmission of TSEs (i.e., BSE, CWD) between domesticated bovines (i.e., cattle, bison), sheep and cervids has not been documented. Deer, domestic cattle and sheep have been experimentally inoculated with brain tissue containing (PrP(res)) from CWD - infected mule deer, and 2 years later, only the deer have become infected with CWD. However, healthy deer have been inoculated with brain tissue from scrapie-infected sheep, and the deer developed spongiform encephalopathy.

The clinical course of CWD is about 12 months. That is, once clinical signs are apparent, cervids rarely survive more than 12 months. Chronic wasting disease is a progressive, fatal disease, with no vaccine to prevent the disease or treatment for reversing the disease (recovery), and there is no evidence of immunity. There has been no effective, practical ante mortem (live-animal) test for diagnosis until recently; a live-test for deer (not elk) involving tonsil biopsy and immunohistochemical analysis for (PrR (res)) accumulation has demonstrated promise, and may be more sensitive than the post-mortem analysis of the obex of the medulla oblongata in the brain. The practicality of this test remains to be decided.

Clinical Signs of CWD

All signs or symptoms of CWD do not occur in all cases, and many of these signs are symptoms of other diseases and conditions as well. Further, the occurrence and severity of symptoms will depend in part on the stage (early versus advanced) of the disease. Below is a comprehensive list of the clinical signs of CWD: (1) loss of fear of humans; (2) nervousness or hyper-excitability; (3) teeth-grinding; (4) ataxia or loss of coordination; (5) notable weakness; (6) intractability; (7) inability to stand; (8) rough dull hair coat; (9) excessive salivation; (10) flaccid, hypotonia of the facial muscles; (11) drooping of the head and ears; (12) excessive thirst (polydipsia); (13) excessive urination (polyuria); (14) esophageal hypotonia and dilation, difficulty swallowing, and regurgitating ruminal fluid and ingesta; and (15) severe emaciation and dehydration.

It is important to note that while some primary symptoms may be directly related to CWD, others may be secondary, more of a consequence of the deteriorating body condition (emaciation) and related physiology (e.g., pneumonia, abscesses, enteritis, or internal parasitism that may often cause emaciation).

Pathological Signs of CWD

Pathological signs of the disease include: (1) emaciation associated with absence or serous atrophy of subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue or fat, and yellow gelatinous bone marrow; (2) sub acute to chronic bronchopneumonia; (3) digestive tract (abomasal or omasal) ulcers; (4) enlarged adrenal glands; (5) watery or frothy rumen contents; and (6) histological lesions. These lesions have primarily and most consistently been observed in the brain and spinal cord. (7) Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is very sensitive and specific to CWD and is typically used to confirm diagnoses by measuring accumulations of proteinase-resistant prion protein (PrP(res)) in brain tissues (specifically in the obex of the medulla oblongata) of infected deer and elk. This prion protein is indistinguishable from the scrapie-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)) found in brain tissues of domestic sheep infected with scrapie, but other differences have been noted. (PrP(res)) has not been detected in uninfected cervids. This test can detect CWD infection before lesions are observable; however, IHC (+) results are not detected until at least three months after infection. Lesions do not always accompany (PrP(res)) accumulation and IHC (+) results. (8) Scrapie associated fibrils (SAFs) have been observed by electron microscopy in the brain tissue of infected cervids, but not in uninfected cervids. (9) Generally, blood (whole blood and serum) and urine profiles have remained within the normal range, with the exception that certain characteristics have reflected the emaciated condition of the infected animals. Low specific gravity of the urine, is the one urine characteristic that may be directly related to CWD, specifically to degenerative encephalopathic changes in the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is important in regulating anti diuretic hormone, which influences concentrations of urinary electrolytes (e.g., Na) and osmolality.

APPENDIX C: Importation of Susceptible Cervids

On March 20, 2002, the Texas Animal Health Commission, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission issued separate orders to prohibit the entry of all elk, white-tailed deer, black-tailed deer, and mule deer into Texas.

On August 25, 2002, Texas Animal Health Commission adopted entry requirements for black-tailed deer, elk, or other cervid species determined to be susceptible to CWD. All mule deer and white-tailed deer held under authority of Scientific Breeder Permits are also required to obtain a purchase permit and, in some cases, a transport permit from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in order to enter the state. All requests for entry must be made in writing and accompanied with the information necessary to support import qualification of the animal(s). Requests for entry and supporting documentation should be received by the TAHC at least 10 working days prior to the proposed entry date. The processing of the application can be expedited by assuring that all of the necessary documentation has been provided and that the necessary staff is available for review. The application must be accompanied by an owner's statement stating that to his/her knowledge the animals (or donor animals) to be imported have never come in contact with equipment or resided on a premise where CWD was ever diagnosed.

Entry Requirements: The applicant must identify the herd of origin and the herd of destination on both the permit application and the certificate of veterinary inspection. The susceptible cervid(s) to be imported into this state, shall be identified to their herd of origin by a minimum of two official/approved unique identifiers to include, but not limited to, legible tattoo, USDA approved ear tag, breed registration or other state approved permanent identification methods. If a microchip is used for identification, the owner shall provide the necessary reader. A certificate of veterinary inspection completed by an accredited veterinarian shall accompany the shipment. Additionally, the herd of origin must meet the following criteria:

1. In states where there is a state approved CWD monitoring program which meets the requirements provided in Section D of Appendix C (below) and where CWD has not been identified in a susceptible species, then all elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, and black-tailed deer to be imported must originate from a herd that has been in a state-approved complete herd certification program for a minimum of three years (or current federal standards). 2. From states which do not have a CWD monitoring program which meets the standards provided in Section D of Appendix C (below) and where CWD has not been identified in a susceptible species, then all elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, and black-tailed deer shall originate from herds that have complete herd records, including, but not limited to, complete and detailed herd inventories, records of deaths, laboratory results, and sales and purchase receipts, for a minimum of five years. Complete documents which support this type of status shall be submitted with the permit application. 3. In states where CWD has been identified in a susceptible species, then elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, and black-tailed deer (or other susceptible species) to be imported must originate from a herd that has been in a state-approved complete herd monitoring program, as provided in Section D of Appendix C (below) for a minimum of five years. 4. A state-approved chronic wasting disease monitoring program must be certified by the Texas State Veterinarian as meeting the following minimum standards: 1. In states where CWD has been found in free-ranging wildlife, the state program shall have perimeter fencing requirements adequate to prevent ingress, egress or contact with susceptible cervids. 2. Surveillance based on testing of susceptible cervid deaths over 16 months of age is required of all herds within a complete herd monitoring program. Surveillance sampling at commercial slaughter and at shooter operations should be at least 10 percent of the number slaughtered annually. 3. A good quality sampling program where state and federal officials have the authority to adjust herd status if poor quality samples, particularly samples that are from the wrong portion of the brain, are routinely submitted from a premise. Laboratory analysis of the brain stem by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved lab is recognized as the current standard for CWD diagnosis. Other laboratory analyses may be accepted as validated or accepted by USDA/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). 4. Physical herd inventory with annual verification reconciling animals and identification with records by an accredited veterinarian or state or federal personnel is required. Inventory is to include a cross check of all animal identifications with the herd inventory and specific information on the disposition of all animals not present. 5. Premise locations must be specifically identified by GIS or detailed description during the initial herd inventory. 6. Herd additions are allowed from herds with equal or greater time in an approved state CWD monitoring program with no negative impact on the certification status of the receiving herd. If herd additions are acquired from a herd with a later date of enrollment, the receiving herd reverts to the enrollment date of the sending herd. If a herd participating in the monitoring program acquires animals from a non-participating herd, the receiving herd must start over with new enrollment date based upon the date of acquisition of the animal(s). If a new herd begins with animals of a given status, that status will be retained by the new herd, based upon the lowest status of the animals received. Animals of different status which are commingled during marketing or transport will revert to the lowest status. 7. Elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer and black-tailed deer will only be allowed to enter the state of Texas if the state of origin lists CWD as a reportable disease and imposes an immediate quarantine on a herd and/or premise when a CWD positive animal is disclosed. 8. Animal health officials in the state of origin must have access to herd records for the appropriate number of years (three to five), including records of deaths and causes of death. 9. Section D also addresses entry requirements as they pertain to tuberculosis testing. However, these requirements are not included as a part of the Texas Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan.

At the November 2002 meeting the TPWD Commission adopted regulations, to suspend the ban on importation of mule deer and white-tailed deer and provide for importation under TAHC requirements. Additionally, the TPW Commission adopted changes to Trap, Transportation, and Transplant rules, which will require a sample of deer to be tested for CWD on any property serving as a trap site for relocated deer. The rule sets forth the minimum sample size, requires the sample to be tested 100% negative by the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory and stipulates that all deer transported be uniquely marked with an ear tattoo prior to release.

APPENDIX D: Response Plan for CWD If Detected

1. If the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory reports a CWD positive test, the suspect sample will be immediately shipped to USDA Laboratory at Ames, Iowa for conformation of positive finding. The time between initial suspect finding and Ames Lab confirmation will be used to mobilize staff and groups for response plan initiation. 2. The confirmation notice of a positive would come through the USDA Veterinary Services Office in Austin, and USDA/VS personnel would be part of the response effort. 3. Governor's Office will be notified of the finding, as well as Commission members of both TAHC and TPWD. 4. CWD Media Response Plan will be activated (Appendix F ).

5. Source location of CWD positive concerns: 1. The source location of the CWD positive animal and information about the area, landowners (to contact for cooperative discussions on further sampling, review of management plans), and the deer density within a 4-8 mile radius will be determined. 2. Should the source location of the CWD positive be in a Scientific Breeder facility or pen, TAHC will inform and work cooperatively with the landowner. TAHC may elect to monitor the herd with special conditions (i.e. double-fencing) or negotiate indemnification (cap established at $3000.00 for prime breeding animals) for eradication of the herd. 6. GIS locations and mapping for sampling will be utilized. 7. TAHC and TPWD will inform and work cooperatively with landowners and with landowner permission in the sample area that may be affected. 8. TAHC would determine sampling requirements. Sample numbers and the size of the area to be sampled will be determined based upon population numbers and the statistically-based numbers required for detecting CWD at a 2% prevalence level from "Regulatory Statistics Volume 1, Sixth Edition" (See Appendix D1). The numbers of animals to be sampled (projected at 150) would be collected throughout an area from 64-1056 square miles and not from a single property unless it is as large as the sample area around a positive. A square mile is 640 acres, in areas where the herd density is 1 deer per 5 acres an area of 64 square miles should contain 8192 deer (128 deer per section) and less than 3 deer per section will be sampled. In areas where the herd density is 1 deer per 200 acres an area of 1056 square miles should contain 3379 deer (3.2 deer section) a deer per 7 sections would be sampled. This sampling is not designed to reduce the population below viability. 9. Sampling will be conducted at no cost to the landowner in a cooperative manner to detect additional CWD positives, and sampling around any additional positive finds, to determine direction of spread, prevalence of the disease and to determine distribution. Additional samples would be taken surrounding any new positive to determine direction, but re-sampling again in an area previously sampled would not be necessary. 10. Simultaneously with the sampling, a joint investigation into movement of deer into or out of area will be conducted. 11. Identify geologic features or barriers, which may be used to limit population distribution, will be determined. 12. After distribution is determined, reasonable, responsible, and rational management strategies will be determined in association with landowners and applied as situations dictate following sampling activities, to include monitoring at appropriate intervals, herd reduction as a possible strategy, and eradication of local populations in limited appropriate circumstances. Strategies for possible treatments will also be discussed and reviewed with the TTT/MLDP Task Force/ White-tailed Deer Advisory Committee and the Private Lands Advisory Board. 13. TPWD will collect and take samples from cervids and transport sample to Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory for analysis. 14. Options for CWD testing (i.e. ELISA test) within localities should a CWD-positive be detected will be considered and evaluated. The purpose would be to ensure reliable test results in a timely manner within the local area providing little interruption to hunting and recreation in the area. 15. TPWD must be prepared to make budget and personnel adjustments for the sampling.


United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services


Volume 1



APPENDIX E: TAHC Rules for Monitoring CWD

Participating herds must have adequate perimeter fencing to prevent ingress and egress of cervids. Collection and submission of appropriate samples from all cases of mortality in animals over 16 months of age will accomplish surveillance in participating herds. Exemptions are provided for animals consigned to commercial slaughter operations with state or federal meat inspection. An annual inventory in participating herds shall be verified by a TAHC, USDA or accredited veterinarian. All animals over one year of age shall be identified with an official ear tag or other approved identification device. All animals less than one year of age shall be officially identified on a change of ownership.

Herd status designation shall be assigned on the basis of the number of years of participation provided that CWD is not confirmed in the herd:

1. Level A - One full year of participation. 2. Level B - Two to three years of participation. 3. Level C - Four to five years of participation. 4. Level D - Six years or more of participation.

Additions to Complete Monitored Herd:

1. Additions may originate from herds of equal or higher status with no change in the status of the receiving herd. 2. Additions may originate from herds of lower status with the receiving herd acquiring the lower status of the herd(s) involved.

APPENDIX F: Media Response Plan

A deer tissue sample tests positive for CWD in Texas, then the TPWD and TAHC officials have only a few hours to manage communication before news reaches the public section.

Prior to Trigger Event, these items are complete and ready to go:

* Step-by-Step Media Response Plan * Shell of news release announcing CWD find-Draft pending response plan protocols being developed between TPWD and TAHC. * Identify news media spokespersons with TPWD and TAHC in Austin o TAHC: (512) 719-0700. Media Contact: Carla Everett. Spokespersons: Dr. Ken Waldrup, Dr. Max Coates, Dr. Linda Logan, Dr. Dan Baca, and Dr. Terry Conger. o TPWD: (512) 389-8900. Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot. Spokespersons: Robert L. Cook, Ron George, Clayton Wolf, and Doug Humphreys * Web site for news media and general public on CWD. Listings on site include: * FAQ/Q&A sheet with basic facts on CWD o * Names/contact info for local/regional experts who can speak about CWD in various regions of Texas. * Streaming video of CWD educational video on Web for general public. * Downloadable radio PSAs. * High-resolution photos and video of animals with CWD.

Actions Needed:

* Gain a clear understanding of Texas operational plan for handling CWD outbreak, including likely sequence of events from initial find to confirmation, and approve policies concerning quarantines, stoppage of intrastate animal movement, and designation of infection zone for monitoring, sampling protocols and possible depopulation plan. * Effective communication planning hinges on our through understanding of state's plan for dealing with a CWD outbreak. * Obtain concurrence with media response plan from TAHC and TPWD. * Make final these above-listed information instruments.

Trigger Event

Notification that a suspected case of CWD exists in Texas.

Notify media contacts at TAHC and TPWD.

* TAHC - Carla Everett, (512) 719-0700 or (800) 550-8242. * TPWD - Steve Lightfoot, (512) 389-4701 or (512) 565-3680.

Actions Needed:

* TAHC and TPWD confirm contacts and alternates, e-mail addresses, cell phone numbers and office and home phone numbers provided to Carla Everett and/or Steve Lightfoot for compilation, coordination and distribution to agency leadership and involved personnel from other entities. * News release distributed to media, agency(s) personnel and commissioners, affected stakeholder groups and constituents. * News conference called, depending on level of media response.



Subject: CWD testing in Texas Date: Sun, 25 Aug 2002 19:45:14 -0500 From: Kenneth Waldrup To: CC:

Dear Dr. Singletary, In Fiscal Year 2001, seven deer from Texas were tested by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) for CWD (5 fallow deer and 2 white-tailed deer). In Fiscal Year 2002, seven elk from Texas were tested at NVSL (no deer). During these two years, an additional six elk and one white-tailed deer were tested at the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL). In Fiscal Year 2002, four white-tailed deer (free-ranging clinical suspects) and at least eight other white-tailed deer have been tested at TVMDL. One elk has been tested at NVSL. All of these animals have been found negative for CWD. Dr. Jerry Cooke of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department also has records of 601 clinically ill white-tailed deer which were necropsied at Texas A&M during the late 1960's and early 1970's, and no spongiform encepalopathies were noted. Thank you for your consideration.

Ken Waldrup, DVM, PhD Texas Animal Health Commission ========================


Captive Cervids

There have been no reported CWD infections of captive elk or deer in Texas. There is currently no mandatory surveillance program for susceptible cervids kept on game farms, although, there has been voluntary surveillance since 1999, which requires owners of participating herds to maintain an annual herd inventory and submit samples for all mortalities of animals over 16 months of age.

Free-Ranging (Wild) Cervids

There have been no reported CWD infections of free-ranging susceptible cervids in Texas. Currently targeted surveillance of free-ranging cervids having clinical symptoms is ongoing in Texas with no positives identified. Additionally, sampling of hunter-killed animals was initiated statewide during the 2002-2003 deer hunting season and sampling will be continued for the next three to five years.

Historic Status

Some have speculated that CWD is "spontaneous" and may exist naturally at low levels, even in Texas. The Texas Wildlife Disease Project, a cooperative research project between TPWD and Texas A&M University (circa 1965-1975), was created to address two disease issues; a) low reproduction in Texas pronghorn and b) "circling disease" in white-tailed deer. One of the leading veterinary pathologists on this project was already suspicious that the etiology of "circling disease" was scrapie being transmitted from sheep to deer. During the project's existence, a total of 780 clinically affected animals (601 white-tailed deer, 7 mule deer, 2 elk, and 170 exotic deer and antelope) were collected. Tissues, including brain and lymph nodes, from the collected animals were examined for spongiform histological lesions, and all were found to be negative. Had CWD (a form of TSE, like scrapie) existed in Texas during this time frame, it is probable that these investigations would have detected these classic histological lesions, especially in clinically affected animals. It must be noted, however, that the current laboratory tests used to diagnose CWD were not available during the time the Wildlife Disease Project so it can not be stated with absolute certainty that CWD was not present.


Diseases such as CWD tend to be managed more effectively when efforts are applied before or as the disease emerges, rather than after it becomes established. CWD is an emerging disease. The current number of known infections within private elk and deer breeding facilities varies markedly among states (and Canada) and is increasing steadily with continued and expanding surveillance and investigations. The geographic spread of CWD in free-ranging mule deer, white-tailed deer and elk is a concern. The recent discovery of CWD in free-ranging white-tailed deer in Wisconsin and Illinois, approximately 700 miles east of any previously known infection, and the discovery of several CWD positive mule deer in New Mexico, approximately 35 miles north of the Texas border were well out of the known boundaries of the disease.

The disease prevalence appears to be increasing in localized areas, although it is not clear whether this is due to increased incidence, or increased surveillance, reporting, and testing. Information from states with direct experience in managing CWD is being used for developing Texas plans as we learn from their experiences.

TPWD and TAHC are developing stepped up targeted and geographically-focused surveillance plans to monitor free-ranging deer for the presence of the disease and a rapid response plan to guide both TPWD and TAHC should CWD be detected in the State. TPWD and TAHC are also evaluating cervid management laws, rules, and policies for free ranging and scientific breeder permitted cervids under their authority to identify issues and potential weaknesses related to disease management. In these efforts, TPWD and TAHC will work with other agencies and organizations responsible for or are concerned about cervid disease management in an attempt to ensure comprehensive approaches to effective management of CWD risks (see Appendix C: Importation of Susceptible Cervids).

TAHC and TPWD have split jurisdictions and regulatory responsibilities, which creates challenges for both agencies (i.e., TAHC responsible for elk, TPWD responsible for white-tailed deer and mule deer). Both agencies will cooperate to resolve issues as they arise.


1. Education and information sharing with public, constituents, and other government agency personnel concerning CWD. 2. Ongoing targeted surveillance of clinical deer statewide (i.e., collecting and CWD- testing deer/elk exhibiting symptoms that may be consistent with CWD). 3. Development and implementation of a geographically-focused Monitoring Plan involving the sampling and CWD-testing of hunter-harvested deer. 4. TAHC Rules for Importation of Susceptible Cervids (Appendix C ). 5. Response Plan for CWD should it occur in Texas(Appendix D ). 6. TAHC rules for monitoring for CWD in breeding facilities (Appendix E ). 7. Media Response plan development in the possible event of a positive CWD occurrence (Appendix F ). 8. Advance education of relevant professionals such as resource agency personnel, private wildlife consultants, veterinarians, landowners, wildlife co-ops, taxidermists, and others


TPWD/TAHC will help educate and share current information with the general public, constituent groups, and other government agency personnel. These efforts will include website updates, distribution of brochures, periodic news releases, public meetings, informational workshops, agency communications and reports. This information will include: 1) basic history and understanding of CWD; 2) its nationwide distribution, and status of knowledge of the disease (e.g., epidemiology, transmission, clinical signs, population effects); 3) other CWD related issues and concerns (e.g., carcass handling and meat consumption, transmission potential to humans and livestock, deer feeding); and 4) management and research actions being taken by TPWD and TAHC. Information may also be designed to focus on specific issues of importance to landowners, hunters, meat processors, taxidermists, deer feeders, veterinarians, rehabilitators, feed companies, feeder manufacturers and operators of captive deer and elk facilities.

Publication of technical findings of research in peer-reviewed journals and agency reports will be strongly encouraged. The more informed all agencies and the public (including hunters) become, the more effectively CWD risks will be managed in the future.

Informing and educating the public, constituents, TPWD and other agency personnel about CWD is essential. Development of informational brochures and leaflets for public and intra-/interagency distribution containing information about CWD being directed toward general public (including hunter) interests and concerns are a necessity. This information will be distributed as follows:

* Available at all TPWD offices statewide. * Carried by Wildlife Biologists, Game Wardens and Park Peace Officers. * Distributed to potential contact agencies and individuals. * Potential contact agencies/individuals (in alphabetical order) include: o Cooperative Extension Service o Exotic Wildlife Association o Federal Natural resource and land management agencies, NPS, USFWS and USFS o Governors Office, EOC o Military installations o Sportsmen Conservationists of Texas o Texas Ag. Council o Texas Agricultural Extension Service o Texas Animal Health Commission o Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society o Texas Deer Association o Texas Department of Agriculture o Texas Game Warden Association o Texas Grain and Feed Association o Texas Farm Bureau o Texas Taxidermists Association o Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory o Texas Veterinary Medical Association o Texas Wildlife Association o TSCRA (Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association) o TS&GRA o USDA/APHIS o Wildlife rehabilitators

Should CWD occur it could have a significant adverse economical impact upon landowners, local communities and landowners possessing deer held under authority of Scientific Breeder Permits and elk. Special emphasis would be directed toward informing all constituents that potentially could be affected by the discovery of CWD in the State. These efforts could be accomplished through the completion of a general news packet, video releases, TPWD/TAHC web sites, as well as television and radio news releases, as well as partner publications and information systems.

Informing and educating TPWD wildlife biologists and law enforcement personnel is also critical, as these individuals will generally be the first lines of information for the public and press. Internal distribution of relevant information in a timely manner will aid TPWD personnel in addressing any CWD concerns from the public or constituent groups. As information is gathered regarding testing or other pertinent data, TPWD should present this information as requested at interagency meetings and professional meetings/symposia. These data should additionally be published peer-reviewed journals or TPWD Technical Reports. In addition, advance education of relevant professionals such as other resource agency personnel, private wildlife consultants, veterinarians, landowners, wildlife co-ops, taxidermists, feed store personnel, and other similar professions who may be contacted by the public and press for comments should be invited to education workshops.


Collecting CWD clinical-free-ranging cervids began in late summer 2002. The collection of clinical deer has been reported by researchers in other states to be particularly useful in detecting the presence/absence of CWD in local areas statewide. TPWD will continue testing clinical free-ranging deer for CWD as they are encountered. Federal funding through APHIS/USDA may be available and would provide for increased sampling during FY-04 sampling period and beyond.

Chronic Wasting Disease Testing

Submitting a Specimen for Testing

Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) will provide Immunohistochemistry (IHC) based testing for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), and screening for tuberculosis (TB) in cervids. These tests are available at the College Station and Amarillo Laboratories. Specimens required for testing are the obex of the brain, both retropharyngeal lymph nodes, and both tonsils. If both CWD and TB testing are requested, it is recommended that the entire head be shipped to the lab so each of those specimens can be identified and processed. Antlers should be removed from the head and the head, including a liberal amount of the soft tissue posterior to the pharynx, should be packed in multiple plastic bags to prevent leakage. A completed Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) Accession Form

or a letter with the name, address and telephone number of the submitter should be enclosed in a separate plastic bag. Specimens must be chilled within 2 hours after kill and should remain chilled during transit. For optimum results, specimens should arrive at the lab within 24 hours after kill. Charges are as follows:

Charges for Chronic Wasting Disease Testing Note: There will be a $100.00 additional charge for carcass disposal if an entire carcass is submitted. Brain removal $10.00 IHC test for CWD $30.00 TB Screen $15.00 Head Disposal $15.00 Total $70.00

Payment by check or money order must be included with specimens for testing to be completed. Credit Cards are not accepted. Specimens submitted for both CWD and TB screening will require a pre-payment of $65.00 or $50.00 if CWD testing alone is requested. Submission of previously removed obexs must include a $30.00 payment for each test to be completed. Please call 979-845-3414 if you have questions on specimen submittal or charges.

Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) Accession Form

The Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) Accession Form media download (PDF 270.3 KB) should be printed and filled out prior to submitting a sample. See instructions above.


NO update on CWD testing in Texas, New Mexico that i could find. I have inquired about it though, no reply yet...

-------- Original Message -------- Subject: CWD testing to date TEXAS ? Date: Mon, 09 May 2005 12:26:20 -0500 From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr." To:

Hello Mrs. Everett,

I am most curious about the current status on CWD testing in Texas. could you please tell me what the current and past testing figures are to date and what geographical locations these tests have been in. good bust on the illegal deer trapping case. keep up the good work there.........

thank you, with kindest regards,

Terry S. Singeltary Sr. P.O. Box 42 Bacliff, Texas USA 77518


CJD Watch message board

-------- Original Message --------

Subject: CWD testing in New Mexico Date: Mon, 09 May 2005 14:39:18 -0500 From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr." To:


I am most curious of the current and past CWD testing in New Mexico, and there geographical locations...

thank you,

Terry S. Singeltary SR. CJD Watch

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-------- Original Message -------- Subject: CWD SURVEILLANCE SAMPLE SUBMISSIONS TEXAS ? Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2004 15:09:58 -0500 From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr." To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

Greetings List members,

as i stated in my previous email;

CWD has not been detected in Texas,

SADLY, they have not tested enough from the total population to know if CWD is in Texas or not. time will tell though. IF they get serious about finding and documenting CWD in sufficient numbers here in TEXAS, sadly, i am afraid they will find it. ITs already at NM, Texas border, TSEs knows no borders. HOWEVER, with the recent finding of a CNS cow with high potential for BSE/TSE in TEXAS, with one high official over ruling another official that wanted it tested, with the high official winning out and the **** thing going to render without being tested, head spinal cord and all. THIS weighs heavy on the credibility of any surveillance for any TSE in TEXAS, and speaks a great deal for the over all surveillance of TSE in the USA...TSS

SO, i thought i would just see where these Ecoregions were, and just how the CWD testing was distributed. YOU would think that with the cluster of CWD bordering TEXAS at the WPMR in NM, you would have thought this would be where the major CWD testing samples were to have been taken? wrong! let's have a look at the sample testing. here is map of CWD in NM WPMR bordering TEXAS;


NEXT, let's have a look at the overall distribution of CWD in Free-Ranging Cervids and see where the CWD cluster in NM WSMR borders TEXAS;

Current Distribution of Chronic Wasting Disease in Free-Ranging Cervids

NOW, the MAP of the Exoregion where the samples were taken to test for CWD;


Ecoregions of TEXAS

IF you look at the area around the NM WSMR where the CWD cluster was and where it borders TEXAS, that ecoregion is called Trans Pecos region. Seems if my Geography and my Ciphering is correct ;-) that region only tested 55% of it's goal. THE most important area on the MAP and they only test some 96 samples, this in an area that has found some 7 positive animals? NOW if we look at the only other border where these deer from NM could cross the border into TEXAS, this area is called the High Plains ecoregion, and again, we find that the sampling for CWD was pathetic. HERE we find that only 9% of it's goal of CWD sampling was met, only 16 samples were tested from some 175 that were suppose to be sampled.

AS i said before;

SADLY, they have not tested enough from the total population to know if CWD is in Texas or not.

BUT now, I will go one step further and state categorically that they are not trying to find it. just the opposite it seems, they are waiting for CWD to find them, as with BSE/TSE in cattle, and it will eventually...


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Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Terry S. Singeltary Sr. P.O. Box 42 Bacliff, Texas USA 77518

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