In July, Chronic Wasting Disease was detected in a white-tailed deer in Medina County, Texas. This disease, first discovered in 1967 in Colorado, affects the nervous systems of white-tailed and mule deer, elk, moose, and red deer. For the first time, the disease was seen in white-tails in Texas, creating significant concern among wildlife professionals, deer breeders, and hunting industry professionals. Although there is no evidence of transmissibility of the disease to humans or livestock, the seriousness of the disease for wild animals demanded a quick response.
While much effort has been spent on the part of various organizations to address the concerns and needs of landowners, we would like to reach out more specifically to the hunting public regarding education on this disease.
Although there is no indication yet that CWD has infected deer outside of the closed, high-fenced facilities in Medina and Lavaca counties, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Animal Health Commission are working to assess the scale of the situation, including potential infection of wild white-tails. Hunters are the critical piece in the puzzle for monitoring and managing CWD: hunters can contribute tissue samples from harvested deer, and maintaining healthy deer densities, as Texas wildlife managers have done for years, is the best tool to prevent the spread of CWD.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Texas Wildlife Association will be hosting a series of “town-hall” style meetings for hunters to educate them about the disease, its history, symptoms, and transmission, as well as informing hunters how they can participate in monitoring efforts and reminding hunters of safe carcass handling practices.
The first of these meetings is scheduled for November 4, 2015, from 6:30-8:30PM, at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Grounds Dairy Center, 723 AT&T Center Parkway, San Antonio, TX. Admission will be $10 to help defer associated costs and refreshments. Pre-registration is encouraged and can be found at:
Additional meetings will be held:
Houston, 12 November 2015, Location TBD
Austin, 17 November 2015, Location TBD
Fort Worth, 23 November, Location TBD
For more information: Contact Texas Wildlife Association’s Clint Faas at firstname.lastname@example.org or (979) 541-9803