Parks and Wildlife Commission Expands CWD Containment Zone in Panhandle

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Action Taken in Response to Disease Discovery in Roadkill Whitetail Deer

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AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved expansion of the state’s chronic wasting disease (CWD) Panhandle Containment Zone following the discovery of the disease earlier this year in a roadkill white-tailed deer.

The Containment Zone 2 now encompasses that portion of the state within the boundaries of a line beginning where I.H. 40 enters from the State of New Mexico in Deaf Smith County; thence east along I.H. 40 to U.S. 385 in Oldham County; thence north along U.S. 385 to Hartley in Hartley County; thence east along U.S. 87 to County Rd. 47; thence north along C.R. 47 to F.M. 281; thence west along F.M. 281 to U.S. 385; thence north along U.S. 385 to the Oklahoma state line.

“The decision to expand slightly the Panhandle Containment Zone is a direct result of the test positive roadkill discovery,” said Dr. Bob Dittmar, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) wildlife veterinarian. “The state’s wildlife disease management response focuses on an early detection and containment strategy designed to limit the spread of CWD from the affected area and better understand the distribution and prevalence of the disease.”

The test positive roadkill was among 10,104 deer, elk and other susceptible exotic game animal samples collected from a variety of sources by TPWD personnel for CWD testing during the 2017-18 collection year. In all, TPWD collected 2,203 samples from roadkills, with the rest obtained through mandatory and voluntary hunter harvest submissions.

For the 2017-18 collection season, TPWD surpassed its statewide goal of 6,735 CWD samples. Sampling objectives were established by TPWD wildlife biologists based on deer densities within each of the 41 Deer Management Units in Texas and other factors to establish sufficient confidence of detection if CWD were present within those localized populations.

Since 2012 when the state first discovered the disease among mule deer in a remote mountain area along the New Mexico border, Texas has recorded 100 confirmed cases of CWD. Of those, 64 were discovered in captive deer breeding pens, 11 were hunter harvested on breeder deer release sites, and 2 were elk from a breeder release site. Of the remaining positives, 20 were free-ranging mule deer, 1 was a free-ranging elk and 2 were free-ranging white-tailed deer.

Details about each CWD detection in Texas are available on TPWD’s web site.