Deer hunters in Mississippi aren’t out of the clear yet, but they did just receive some good news from the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Department. On February 23, 64 whitetail samples were collected and submitted for CWD testing in their 5-mile Containment Zone. All samples were returned on March 5, as “not detected for CWD”. Although all results came back CWD-free, MDWFP officials will continue to sample for the disease in the core area of their implemented CWD Management Zone.
A DNA analysis was also conducted on the CWD-positive buck from Issaquena County and the results were different than many had expected and assumed. Results suggest the buck’s genetics match nearby free-range populations.
“What they know is they compared the genetics of that deer with known genetics they have,” said Russ Walsh, MDWFP Wildlife Executive Staff Officer. “All it really tells us is that it’s a native whitetail. All we can know from the analysis is he was a local deer. He was not brought in. That’s about all it tells us.”
CWD is a neurodegenerative disease found in most deer species, including moose, elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. Although the disease is always fatal, the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention have confirmed that CWD does not possess a risk to humans and there is no evidence that CWD can infect humans.
If you’d like more information on the CWD Response Plan, you can read it in its entirety here. MDWFP will also be hosting a public meeting to discuss Chronic Wasting Disease at the Vicksburg Convention Center in Vicksburg on Monday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m. Information about CWD will be presented by leading scientists and MDWFP personnel will discuss Mississippi’s CWD Response Plan and will be available to answer any questions.