Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a neurological disease in deer, elk, moose and other members of the deer family, known as "cervids." The disease was first recognized in 1967 in captive mule deer in Colorado, and has since been documented in captive and free-ranging deer in 21 states and two Canadian Provinces. This disease presents numerous challenges for state wildlife agencies across North America. Of concern is the potential for decline within deer, elk, or other susceptible cervid populations. In addition, CWD could have indirect impacts on hunting, hunter participation, and economic benefits derived from big game hunting. In Texas, hunting is a $2.2 billon economic engine, supporting many rural towns across the state.

Photo: Warden Micheal Hopper, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism

Because eradication is thought to be impossible once CWD becomes established in a population, it is imperative that a sound CWD management program is established to reduce the severity of implications resulting from the disease. Of course, disease prevention is the best approach to protect cervid populations and prevent social and economic repercussions. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) have developed a cooperative CWD management plan to guide both agencies in addressing risks, developing management strategies, and protecting big game resources from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in captive or free-ranging cervid populations.

Photo: Warden Micheal Hopper, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism


Notices:


CWD Resources


Latest News

Feb. 5, 2016
New CWD Case Discovered at Captive Deer Release Site

Jan. 22, 2016
TPW Commission Takes Action on Deer Management Permit; Aerial Wildlife Management Clarified

Nov. 17, 2015
Mule Deer Outlook Promising; Hunters Reminded of Mandatory CWD Testing

Nov. 5, 2015
TPW Commission Adopts Interim Deer Breeder Movement Rules

Oct. 28, 2015
Outlook Promising for Texas Deer Season

Oct. 21, 2015
TPWD Details Plans for Hunter Harvest CWD Sample Collections

Sept. 23, 2015
Hunters Asked to Submit Samples for CWD Testing

Sept. 16, 2015
Chronic Wasting Disease Confirmed in Lavaca County Captive White-tailed Deer; Linked to Index Herd

Aug. 11, 2015
Deer Breeder Movement Standards Plan Finalized

July 16, 2015
TPW Commission Holds Special Meeting on Chronic Wasting Disease

July 13, 2015
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Special Meeting Thursday on Chronic Wasting Disease

July 1, 2015
Chronic Wasting Disease Detected in Medina County Captive Deer

March 17, 2015
One New Positive Found in 2014–15 Trans Pecos CWD Surveillance

Jan. 22, 2015
Game Warden Field Notes

Oct. 22, 2014
Mule Deer Hunters Reminded of CWD Testing Requirements

Oct. 21, 2014
Pair Convicted in Illegal Deer Breeding Operation

Oct. 17, 2014
TPWD Reminds Hunters about Proper Deer Carcass Disposal

March 28, 2014
No New Positives Found in 2013-14 Trans Pecos CWD Surveillance

Dec. 13, 2013
Bovine TB Monitoring Effort Expanded to Include Mule Deer and Elk

Oct. 22, 2013
Mule Deer Hunters Reminded of CWD Testing Requirements

Feb. 11, 2013
Four New Positives Found in Trans Pecos CWD Surveillance

Nov. 12, 2012
Mule Deer Hunters Reminded of CWD Testing Requirements

Sept. 25, 2012
TPWD Gearing Up for CWD Response during Deer Season

Sept. 5, 2012
Wildlife Officials Considering New Deer Movement Rules in Response to CWD

July 10, 2012
Chronic Wasting Disease Detected in Far West Texas

May 2, 2012
Cherokee County Man Sentenced for Negligent Transportation of Wildlife

March 26, 2012
Texas Prepares for CWD Possibility in Far West Texas

Oct. 28, 2011
Discovery of CWD in Missouri Reinforces Need for Vigilance in Texas

Aug. 1, 2011
Deer Disease Test Results Come Back Clean

June 15, 2011
Cherokee County Deer Breeder Pleads Guilty to Smuggling Deer

Dec. 29, 2010
TPWD’s Top 10 Conservation News Stories of 2010

Feb. 5, 2010
Texas Men Sentenced to Federal Prison for Deer Trafficking, Stolen Property

Nov. 12, 2009
Wolf Named TPWD Wildlife Division Director

Dec. 12, 2008
Game Wardens Arrest Men for Illegal Deer Trapping, Sale

Nov. 26, 2008
Deer Smugglers from Texas, Minnesota, Sentenced to Prison

July 17, 2006
Reward Offered in McLennan County Elk Dumping Case

Aug. 12, 2004
Public Invited To Address TPW Commission on Aug. 25

CWD Updates

July 22, 2015
In response to the recent discovery of a Chronic Wasting Disease-positive deer in a Medina County deer breeding facility recently, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) have placed a temporary moratorium on movement of all breeder deer in Texas until a proper risk assessment can be conducted. The risk assessment and epidemiological investigation are ongoing, but both agencies agree that the standards associated with achieving a Certified Status with TAHC appropriately mitigate the risk associated with this event.

Effective Wednesday, July 22, TPWD and TAHC reinstated "Movement Qualified" status for eligible captive deer breeder herds that have achieved "Certified Status" as a TAHC Chronic Wasting Disease-monitored herd. More information about CWD herd certified status, can be found online here (PDF).

TPWD and TAHC are diligently working on standards and protocol for potential relaxation of current movement restrictions for additional deer breeding facilities.

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How deer hunters can help TPWD with CWD surveillance


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TPWD Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan

The Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan (.pdf) will serve to guide Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) in addressing risks, developing management strategies, and protecting big game resources from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in captive or free-ranging cervid populations. Both agencies recognize the need for full cooperation and partnership among government agencies, conservation organizations, private landowners, hunters, and the general public should CWD occur in Texas. CWD is a reportable disease and TAHC has authority for reporting and tracking this disease in alternative livestock, which includes elk, red deer and sika deer. TPWD has regulatory authority for free-ranging white-tailed deer and mule deer, and both agencies share regulatory authority over captive deer held under the authority of Deer Breeder Permits.

This management plan is intended to be dynamic; management strategies described within are likely to change as both the epidemiology and management of this disease become better understood through time. Specific response plans may be developed and incorporated into this plan following local or regional discoveries of CWD. Three major goals of this CWD management plan are:

  • Minimize CWD risks to the wild and captive white-tailed deer, mule deer, and other susceptible species in Texas.
  • Establish and maintain support for prudent CWD management with hunters, landowners, and other stakeholders.
  • Minimize direct and indirect impacts of CWD to hunting, hunting related economies, and conservation in Texas

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