Tuesday, March 02, 2010

MISSOURI NEWS: CWD Detected in Captive Deer Population

The Missouri Departments of Agriculture, Conservation and Health and Senior Services and USDA announced Feb. 25 that a captive white-tailed deer in Linn County has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease. CWD is a neurological disease found in deer, elk and moose.
"There is no evidence that CWD poses a risk to domestic animals or humans," said State Veterinarian Dr. Taylor Woods. "We have protocols in place to quickly and effectively handle these situations."

The animal that tested positive for CWD was a white-tailed deer inspected as part of the state's CWD surveillance and testing program. The USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa conducted preliminary tests.

Upon receiving the confirmed CWD positive, Missouri's departments of Agriculture, Conservation and Health and Senior Services initiated their CWD Contingency Plan. The plan was developed in 2002 by the Cervid Health Committee, a task force comprised of veterinarians, animal health officers and conservation officers from USDA, MDA, MDC and DHSS working together to mitigate challenges associated with CWD.

CWD is transmitted by animal-to-animal contact or soil-to-animal contact. The disease was first recognized in 1967 in captive mule deer in the Colorado Division of Wildlife captive wildlife research facility in Fort Collins. CWD has been documented in deer and/or elk in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the Canadian Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. There has been no evidence that the disease can be transmitted to humans.

"Missouri's proactive steps to put a testing protocol in place and create a contingency plan years ago are proving beneficial. We are in a solid position to follow pre-established steps to ensure Missouri's valuable whitetail deer resource remains healthy and strong," said Jason Sumners Missouri's deer biologist.

Source: Missouri Ruralist

Monday, March 01, 2010

OHIO NEWS: 2009 Record Deer Harvest

The numbers are in, and they're big.

It was a highly successful year for Ohio whitetail deer hunters as a record 261,314 deer were harvested.

The total breaks last year's harvest of just over 252,000, and continues the state's steady rise in deer kills. In 2003, hunters took just under 198,000 deer, and 10 years prior to that, the total was 138,752.

The Ohio Division of Wildlife went into the hunting season with the goal of providing more opportunities and reducing the number of does, and while the state hasn't released the breakdown of does vs. bucks, it's safe to say Ohioans certainly had their "opportunity" to take a whitetail this year.

"Ohio deer hunters had another great year and continue to play a vital role in managing Ohio's deer herd. They've embraced regulation changes which increased the harvest of antlerless deer and they've donated a significant amount of venison to feed the less fortunate in Ohio through the Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry program," said David M. Graham, chief of the Division of Wildlife.

The deer gun season resulted in the greatest portion of the overall harvest with 114,281 deer taken. Archery hunters took a total of 91,521. Deer killed during the early muzzleloader season (491), at controlled hunts (690), youth-gun season (9,270), the extra deer gun weekend (20,054), and the statewide muzzleloader season (25,007) added to the overall total.

Source: The Daily Record

SCOTLAND NEWS: Wildlife Trust Calls for Deer Cull

A conservation charity has called for the annual cull of deer in Scotland to continue because large numbers of the animals are starving to death.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust said the harsh winter had left many deer suffering through lack of food.

It wants them culled to prevent "inhumane suffering" and further damage to Scotland's environment caused by large deer populations.

The stalking period for female deer in Scotland ended on 15 February.

The charity said deer numbers in Scotland had reached record levels due to the absence of natural predators.

Together, the population of the country's two native species, the red deer and the roe deer, total more than 350,000 - about double the numbers recorded 50 years ago.
Simon Milne, SWT's chief executive, said: "We are a wildlife protection charity calling for more deer to be culled.

"I understand that this might surprise some people, but our reasoning is sound.

"Red deer numbers have been steadily increasing in recent decades to the point where, in some areas, they are causing damage to the natural environment."

Mr Milne said the animals were facing a "double whammy" because they were competing for limited food and also had to contend with prolonged wintery weather.

He added: "Red deer are really a woodland species and the now treeless environment of many parts of Scotland simply does not satisfy their basic need for shelter, particularly in bad weather.

"Too many deer and not enough food is resulting in starvation."

Source: BBC