LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has received confirmation that two additional deer have tested positive for chronic wasting disease in Arkansas. A deer in Madison County and another deer in Pope County were positive for the fatal disease. Both deer were road kills that were reported by the public.
The Madison County deer was a 2½-year-old doe found near Kingston and 2.9 miles west of the CWD focal area. The Pope County deer was a 2½-year-old buck found 44.4 miles south of the focal area near London.
The two positive samples came from a batch of 131 deer sent to the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Madison.
The first phase of chronic wasting disease sampling by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission revealed a 23 percent prevalence rate in Newton and Boone counties. Of 266 randomly collected wild deer, 62 were found to have the fatal disease.
To determine the prevalence of the disease among deer, the AGFC took samples March 14-24 within a 125,000-acre, capsule-shaped area ranging from 5 miles west of Ponca to 5 miles east of Pruitt, and 10 miles across.
Including the sampled area, the AGFC has now received results of 84 animals with the disease. A total of 674 wild animals (645 white-tailed deer and 29 elk) have been sampled since laboratory results confirmed the disease Feb. 23, 2016. Eighty-one deer and three elk have been found to be positive.
Phase 2 of the sampling effort has focused on learning the spatial distribution of the disease, and includes statewide collection of sick or dead deer and elk. This phase of the sampling effort will continue through May 20.
The first case of CWD in Arkansas was found in a 2½-year-old female elk killed by a hunter Oct. 6 on the Buffalo National River near Pruitt during elk hunting season. It was the first animal in Arkansas confirmed to have CWD. Samples from the diseased female elk were first tested at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Madison and verified by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, Feb. 23.
Anyone who sees a sick, dead or road-killed deer or elk should contact the AGFC’s radio room at 800-482-9262. Operators are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Reports will be sent to the appropriate person to collect samples.
Deer or elk infected with CWD tend to stay away from herds, may lose their fear of humans, walk in patterns, carry their head low, salivate excessively and grind their teeth. As the disease progresses, the animal will lose weight, develop an insatiable thirst and lose bodily functions.
The AGFC will hold a public meeting at 6 p.m., May 19, at Carroll Electric Cooperative, 511 E. Court St. in Jasper, to update the public on proposed hunting regulations.
Visit www.agfc.com/cwd for more information.