Virginia hunters asked to help with chronic wasting disease surveillance

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 2:50 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ/DWR Release) - The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources is asking hunters for help with the department’s 2022 chronic wasting disease (CWD) surveillance efforts.

Each deer-hunting season, the agency reports, DWR works with local hunters, processors and taxidermists to monitor the geographic spread of the disease and prevalence trends in deer populations. November 19, 2022, any deer killed in Carroll, Floyd, Montgomery or Pulaski counties is required to be taken to a CWD sample station to be tested for CWD.

Required CWD sampling helps DWR maximize CWD testing in specific counties, according to DWR. Any deer, or at minimum the head and at least four inches of neck, killed in Carroll, Floyd, Montgomery or Pulaski counties November 19 must be taken to one of the designated sampling stations listed below:

Carroll County

 Exxon/Circle K – 26 Airport Rd, Hillsville

 Cana Volunteer Fire Dept. – 4235 Flower Gap Rd, Cana

Floyd County

 Floyd Express Market – 609 E. Main St., Floyd

 Willis Village Market - 5602 Floyd Highway S., Willis

Montgomery County

 Office building at 2206 S. Main St., Blacksburg

 Shell Station – 4330 Riner Rd., Riner

Pulaski County

 New River State Park, Dora Junction – From I-81, take State Route 99 west for 2 miles. Turn right on Xaloy Way and sample station will be on left.

 New River Valley Fairgrounds - 5581 Fairgrounds Cir., Dublin

DWR encourages hunters who are successful on any other day of the deer hunting season in Carroll, Floyd, Montgomery or Pulaski Counties to submit the heads and necks from their deer for sampling by taking it to one of DWR’s voluntary CWD testing sites, which can be found at

DWR says chronic wasting disease has been confirmed in 26 states and three Canadian provinces. In Virginia, CWD has been detected in more than 100 deer from eleven counties since 2009.

This incurable disease, found in deer, elk and moose in North America, says DWR, is a slow-acting and progressive neurologic disease that results in death. The disease-causing agent is spread through the urine, feces, and saliva of infected animals. Clinical signs of CWD, which typically do not develop for several months to over a year after exposure, include staggering, abnormal posture, lowered head, drooling, confusion and marked weight loss.

DWR says there is no evidence CWD can be transmitted naturally to humans, pets or livestock (with the possible exception of pigs). However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends hunters test all deer harvested from known CWD-positive areas, wait until test results are received prior to consuming the meat, and do not consume any meat from animals that test positive for the disease.

Regulations pertaining to CWD, maps of affected states and information about CWD can be found on the DWR website at