Montana Public Radio

Chronic Wasting Disease

Elk at a feed ground in Wyoming.
USGS (PD)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana game farm is under quarantine after an elk tested positive for chronic wasting disease, the state Department of Livestock reported.

The brain wasting disease hasn't been identified in domestic deer or elk in the state since 1999, officials said.

A deer showing signs of chronic wasting disease.
Donald Savoy / Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Thirteen percent of the white-tailed deer in the town of Libby could be infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD), the highest prevalence rate in the state. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks said this fall’s sampling efforts determined prevalence is almost three times the agency’s threshold for more aggressive management actions.

White-tailed deer.
(PD)

Montana wildlife officials announced Wednesday that a white-tailed deer in southwest Montana has, for the first time, tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The deer population in the Ruby Valley is dense, which could fuel transmission.

White-tailed deer.
(PD)

Montana wildlife managers say 91 cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) have been found statewide so far this year. The Libby area accounts for nearly half of those detections and that number is expected to grow with results still rolling in from this year’s big game season.

Cow moose. Stock photo.
(PD)

A moose in Montana has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) for the first time. The finding expands the area wildlife managers believed the disease to exist.

The moose was killed north of Troy, just a half of a mile outside of the Libby CWD management zone, which spans a 10-mile radius around Libby. Thirty white-tailed deer have tested positive for CWD within the management zone since the disease was discovered this spring.

Montana wildlife officials say a mule deer buck harvested during archery season northeast of Joliet tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease.

Beau Albright and his girlfriend Chloe Quiambao scan mountains near Libby for white-tailed deer and elk, Oct. 26, 2019.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

Both deer and elk rifle hunting seasons opened across the state Saturday and hunters hiked into the woods at the crack of dawn in the hopes of coming out with some fresh meat to stock their freezers. That ritual was a little different this year for hunters in the Libby area, where chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in white-tailed deer.

White-tailed deer.
(PD)

The number of white-tailed deer infected with Chronic Wasting Disease continues to climb in Libby. Eighteen white-tailed deer have now tested positive since the count started this spring.

Hunter-harvested deer are expected to shed more light on the spread of the disease when general rifle season starts later this month.

Montana officials are expanding restrictions on the transport of big game animals to prevent the spread of a fatal disease.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks' Neil Anderson demonstrates how to locate the lymph nodes of a white-tailed deer for CWD testing on Wednesday, September 25, in Libby.
Nick Mott / MTPR

State policy makers in Libby Wednesday got an intimate look at how Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is managing chronic wasting disease in the local white-tailed deer population. The visit comes after the tenth deer tested positive for the disease in the area since this spring.

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