TEXAS, USA — Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has recently seen an uptick in detection of chronic wasting disease (CWD), a brain disease that affects deer and can be easily spread.
CWD was recently discovered in six deer breeding facilities since March, causing TPWD issue an emergency order restricting the movement of deer from those facilities.
At this point, TPWD doesn’t see CWS severely impacting the deer population or hunting season, but is keeping a close eye on the situation.
“Well, it’s serious enough, in some states like Wyoming, it does have population impacts,” TPWD Wildlife Director John Silovsky said. “We’re not anywhere near that in Texas. We haven’t found it in that many places. To this date we’ve only found 257 positive CWD animals in Texas. When you look at how big Texas is and you assume you have four or five million deer, that’s a small percentage.”
Still, at this point the area in which the disease is present hasn’t been completely locked down.
“So right now we’ve been able to contain the disease pretty well, but these recent findings since march up until now, we haven’t found where CWD is present in all those facilities yet so that’s what we’re most nervous about this time, how big that geographic spread is with new places with CWD across the state.”