02/25/2024
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A Staff Report

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a concerning and highly transmissible neurological disorder that primarily affects deer and other cervids. Anna Gurney, Public Relations Manager of Communications, Marketing & Digital Engagement at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission emphasizes the importance of CWD testing because of the disease’s potential impact on deer populations and ecosystems.

CWD spreads through the exchange of bodily fluids such as saliva, urine, and feces of infected deer. It can also be transmitted through the movement of deer carcasses and carcass parts. Even more concerning is that infected deer can appear healthy during the early stages of the disease, making it challenging to identify and control the spread.

Taking Precautions

Given the ease with which CWD can spread, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission underscores the importance of taking precautions when handling and disposing of deer carcasses. Hunters are encouraged to follow guidelines to minimize the risk of transmission. These precautions include:

1. Avoiding direct contact: Do not handle or consume deer that appear sick or behave abnormally.

2. Minimizing carcass movement: Avoid transporting whole deer carcasses across long distances. If necessary, process the carcass at or near the hunting location.

3. Properly disposing of remains: Dispose of deer carcass remains responsibly, following local regulations. This may include using designated disposal sites or landfills.

Stay Informed with KNOW CWD

To stay informed about the latest developments regarding Chronic Wasting Disease, hunters and the public can visit the “KNOW CWD” resource. This platform provides a wealth of information, including:

1. Number of deer tested: Keep track of the progress of CWD testing efforts in North Carolina.

2. Locations of positive CWD results: Stay informed about areas where CWD has been detected.

3. CWD surveillance areas: Learn about specific regions that are under increased surveillance for CWD.

4. Information on testing stations: Find convenient locations for CWD sample drop-off.

5. Statewide CWD regulations: Understand the regulations and guidelines related to CWD management in North Carolina.

The cooperation of North Carolina’s hunters in the CWD testing and monitoring efforts is crucial for the preservation of the state’s deer populations and ecosystems. By obtaining their sample results through Go Outdoors NC and following the recommended precautions, hunters can play a significant role in mitigating the spread of this devastating disease. Staying informed through the KNOW CWD resource will help hunters and the public stay up-to-date on the latest developments related to Chronic Wasting Disease in North Carolina.

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