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MDWFP confirms Chronic Wasting Disease in Tunica County



mdwfp chronic wasting disease
(credit: MDWFP)

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has recently received positive test results for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a hunter-harvested doe from Tunica County. This marks the first CWD-positive detection for the county. The initial testing classified the doe as “suspect positive,” and later confirmed by the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

Since February 2018, 206 CWD-positive white-tailed deer have been detected across ten counties in Mississippi. The MDWFP expresses their gratitude to all hunters who submitted deer for testing during the 2022–23 hunting season. Hunters can submit deer for testing at established freezer locations or participating taxidermists.

CWD is a fatal disease that affects deer, elk, and moose. It is caused by an abnormal protein called a prion that damages the brain and nervous system of infected animals, leading to a decline in body condition, behavioral changes, and eventual death. The disease can spread from animal-to-animal through saliva, feces, and urine.

The MDWFP continues to monitor the spread of CWD in Mississippi and implements measures to prevent the spread of the disease. The agency encourages hunters to have their deer tested to detect CWD early and limit its spread. Additionally, the MDWFP advises hunters to follow safe handling practices when processing deer and to avoid consuming meat from animals that have tested positive for CWD.

The detection of CWD in a new county underscores the importance of ongoing monitoring and prevention efforts to safeguard Mississippi’s deer populations. The MDWFP remains committed to working with hunters, landowners, and other stakeholders to mitigate the impact of CWD on Mississippi’s wildlife.

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