Page 3 - MDWFP CWD Response Plan
P. 3

Executive Summary

                   The Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan will serve to guide the Mississippi Department
                   of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks in addressing risks, developing management strategies, and
                   protecting wildlife resources from Chronic Wasting Disease in captive or free-range cervid

                   Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a transmissible, fatal, neurological disease that affects
                   members of the Cervidae (deer) family. Common members of this family include white-
                   tailed deer, elk, mule deer, moose, caribou, red deer and fallow deer. The only wild free-
                   ranging member of the deer family found in Mississippi is the white-tailed deer. Currently,
                   there is no evidence that CWD can be transmitted to humans.

                   In the late 1960s, CWD was first recognized in captive mule deer in Colorado. The disease
                   has since been confirmed in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland,
                   Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North
                   Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia,
                   Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Additionally, the Canadian provinces of Alberta and
                   Saskatchewan are CWD positive. Also, the countries of Norway and South Korea are CWD

                   Monitoring for CWD in Mississippi began in 2002. As of July 2017, a total of 12,587 deer
                   have been tested for the disease. CWD was not confirmed in any of these samples.

                   The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recognizes that the
                   detection of CWD in Mississippi has significant biological, ecological, and sociological
                   implications. If CWD is confirmed in Mississippi, it will represent a serious long-term threat
                   to the health of cervids in the state. The purpose of this response plan is to provide direction,
                   guidelines, and a specific course of action for monitoring and managing CWD in Mississippi
                   if found. The major goals of this plan are:

                         Continue surveillance throughout the state to ensure early detection.
                         If CWD is detected,
                              o  Determine the prevalence and spatial distribution of CWD.
                              o  Apply management actions to limit the spread of CWD.
                         Determine the origin of any CWD positive cervid.
                         Provide accurate and relevant information on CWD to the public, agency staff,
                          affected governmental agencies, and other stakeholders.
                         Continue to gather and evaluate information that would guide research on CWD and
                          its epidemiology to support future management efforts.

                   These goals will minimize the impact of CWD on white-tailed deer in the state and minimize
                   the implications for human consumption. The management of CWD will require a multi-year
                   adaptive management strategy that can be refined as the science of CWD management

                   Eradication of CWD once it is established is unlikely due to the persistence of prions (the
                   infectious agent) in the environment. This plan focuses on detection and control of the

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