Deer tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in Culpeper County

Deer tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in Culpeper County
Chronic Wasting Disease was first identified in captive deer in the late ‘60s in Colorado and in wild deer in 1981.

CULPEPER COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - A deer in Culpeper County has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

The buck was legally harvested in November 2018 and a cooperating taxidermist submitted a sample to the DGIF in late January.

When the deer was harvested, the hunter did not notice any outwards signs of the disease and it appeared to be in good health.

CWD has been documented in Northern Virginia for more than nine years, but this deer was harvested more than 40 miles from the nearest CWD-positive counties. CWD is an incurable disease found in deer, elk and moose. The symptoms may or may not be noticeable, but include staggering, abnormal posture, lowered head, drooling, confusion and marked weight loss.

“Because of the distance from other known positives, DGIF conducted an extensive forensic investigation to confirm the harvest location of this deer, resulting in a delay in releasing the information to the public,” the DGIF said in a release.

The DGIF will spend this spring and summer will be working with cooperating partners and members of the CWD Response Team to determine appropriate measures moving forward to manage the spread of the disease.

The DGIF has been working with 50 taxidermist across the state, and of more than 1,600 samples submitted, the buck was the only CWD-positive deer found in Culpeper County. Other samples from Northern Virginia did find other deer with the disease.

“The DGIF also tested over 1,550 deer harvested from Frederick, Clarke, Warren and Shenandoah counties and detected CWD in 2 deer from Shenandoah County and twenty-six deer from Frederick County. An additional doe from Shenandoah County, reported to the Department by a member of the public and showing symptoms of the disease, was diagnosed with CWD in April,” the DGIF said in a release.

CWD has been found in 26 states and three Canadian provinces. In Virginia, 68 deer have tested positive for the disease since 2009.

For more information on the disease and impacts around Virginia, click here.

Copyright 2019 WWBT. All rights reserved.