A public meeting to discuss how state officials plan to deal with Mississippi’s first confirmed case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a deer will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson.
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks set the meeting to provide more information on the disease, which was found in a deceased 4½-year-old buck in Issaquena County in January. Tests from an Iowa laboratory confirmed the positive test for CWD on Feb. 9.
MDWFP announced that day its first steps in its response by creating CWD management zones in a 5-, 10- and 25-mile circles. The agency immediately banned supplemental feeding in the six counties that touch the 25-mile radius — Claiborne, Hinds, Issaquena, Sharkey, Warren and Yazoo, and also that baiting of hogs would only be allowed by placing grain within the confines of a trap. The ban is placed for the entire counties, not just the parts within the 25-mile radius.
The agency also announced it would develop a full response plan, which will be discussed at Thursday’s meeting. Biologists have confirmed that a part of that plan would be to harvest a certain amount of deer from the immediate 5-mile containment area for testing. Results from those tests will dictate future steps.
MDWFP Biologists and Law Enforcement officials will be available to answer questions.
CWD is caused by a malformed protein or prion and is known to affect white-tailed deer and other related animals, such as elk, moose, and reindeer. There is no known treatment for CWD, which can only be confirmed through laboratory analysis.
The public is invited to attend the meeting.