(Press release) —  Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal neurological disease of deer, elk and moose, which was first detected in wild populations in Wyoming in 1987. Wyoming Game and Fish is seeking feedback on the draft of the CWD management plan now and will ask the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission to approve a final version of the plan at its meeting January 28-29, 2016 in Cheyenne.

The CWD plan focuses on disease management, research, public information and funding. The draft calls for the continuation of robust surveillance and public involvement, as well as continuing to invest in research here in Wyoming.

“This is a challenging disease because, to date, no one has found a way to eradicate it. But, Game and Fish has been a leader in researching CWD and learning more about its spread and its impacts. This draft builds on the national collaboration, on recent research and it outlines an adaptable strategy that is specific to Wyoming,” said Scott Edberg, Deputy Chief of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Division.

The public can view the proposed plan here, can comment online or by mail and can attend public meetings, in Jackson on December 7 at 6:00 pm at the Teton County Library or in Casper on December 14 at 7:00 pm at the Game and Fish regional office.

Game and Fish will accept comments on the plan until January 5, 2016. The Commission will review and approve a final version of the plan at its next meeting, January 28-29, 2016 in Cheyenne.

Send written comments to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department ATTN: CWD Plan 3030 Energy Lane  Casper, WY 82604 by January 5, 2016.

Each year staff at the Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Disease Laboratory in Laramie test over 1,500 deer, elk and moose and provides information to hunters about whether the disease was present in animals they had harvested. The Game and Fish tests harvested deer, elk and moose for CWD in areas where it has not yet been confirmed. The agency also does testing in areas where CWD has been for years.

The draft plan includes proactive approaches for the elk feedgrounds in western Wyoming. CWD has not been found there, but Game and Fish has conducted CWD surveillance on these elk there for years. The draft plan calls for continuing surveillance, researching big game migration routes in the area of feedgrounds and working to reduce the use of feedgrounds in partnership with others. The draft plan also has a strategy in the event CWD is detected at the feedgrounds.

Even though there is no evidence that CWD can be transmitted to humans, Game and Fish recommends people not eat deer, elk or moose that test positive for CWD.
For more information on chronic wasting disease transmission and regulations on transportation and disposal of carcasses please visit the Game and Fish website. Wyoming Game and Fish (307) 777-4600.

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