The Missouri Department of Conservation is working to develop some new regulations to curb the spread of chronic wasting disease, which is slowly killing off Missouri’s deer population. The first confirmed case of the disease was in 2010 in a captive deer facility in northern Missouri. Since then 11 cases of CWD in deer have been confirmed.
CWD affects the brain of deer and can be transmitted from deer to deer or by coming contact with an infected surface.
Last week, the MDC approved proposed regulations to prevent CWD. Russell Duckworth, the protection district supervisor for the MDC, said regulations on deer importing are crucial.
“In an effort to try and keep this disease under control then there are potential regulations regarding actually importing deer into Missouri,” Duckworth said. “Potential regulation coming along would actually close Missouri’s boarders to importing live deer in.”
Duckworth said the department is meeting to discuss potential regulations that can prevent the spread of CWD. He said new fencing regulations can also help prevent the spread of CWD through deer to deer contact.
“There are some new fencing standards that deer breeders would have to abide by making it less likely that that deer-to-deer contact or free-ranging deer would be able to get chronic wasting disease from a privately owned deer herd,” Duckworth said.
The MDC also requests that private breeders and owners of captive deer facilities test their deer for CWD as well. The department is still testing deer throughout northern Missouri in the meantime. Altogether they have tested about 40,000 deer in Missouri for CWD.