The monthly chronic wasting disease (CWD) updates from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks are beginning to sound like a broken record.
But, in this case, that repetition is a good thing.
In his latest video announcement posted Wednesday on the agency’s Facebook page and MDWFP.com website, wildlife bureau executive director Russ Walsh announced more deer have been sampled and no new CWD positives have been found.
That is the same song he’s sung since the announcement of Mississippi’s first CWD case confirmed in February from a buck found dead at an Issaquena County deer camp on Jan. 25.
Since that positive test for the 100-percent fatal disease that affects four species of cervids (elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer and moose), a total of 855 deer from the six-county area within the 25-mile CWD management zone have been sampled, including animals collected by the agency and others found dead or brought by the public, with no further deer found to be testing positive for CWD. That includes 245 deer from Issaquena County, 50 from Claiborne County, 64 from Hinds County (seven pending), 19 from Sharkey County, 338 from Warren County (36 pending), and 139 from Yazoo County.
Statewide, the agency has sampled a total of 1,853 deer this year, with only the one positive result from Issaquena County. There are 69 reports pending, meaning the lab results have not been returned from the Iowa testing facility.
Walsh also said that Louisiana continues testing in areas that would be included within the 25-mile zone if extended across the river, and thus far there has been no positive CWD results.
“Right now, we are currently drafting hunting season recommendations relative to CWD management and mitigation, so please look for those to be coming out in the next month or so,” Walsh said.
He asked that the public remain vigilant and report any suspicious-acting deer showing any signs of disease, and especially the CWD symptoms: excessive weight loss, increased salivation and thirst, listlessness, low-hung head and walking in patterns.