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Chronic Wasting Disease

January 1, 2007

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an always-fatal, neurological illness occurring in North American cervids (members of the deer family), including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. Since its discovery in 1967, CWD has spread geographically and increased in prevalence locally. CWD is contagious; it can be transmitted freely within and among free-ranging populations. It is likely that diseased animals can transmit CWD to healthy animals long before they become clinically ill. Managing CWD in free-ranging populations is extremely difficult, therefore preventative measures designed to reduce the chance for disease spread are critically important.