Chronic Wasting Disease reported in Meade, Harding, Tripp counties

PIERRE, S.D. (KBHB) – South Dakota’s Game, Fish and Parks says Chronic Wasting Disease has been reported in Meade, Harding and Tripp Counties.

G.F. & P. Wildlife Program Administrator Chad Switzer says one male mule deer from both Harding and Meade counties tested positive, while three male and one female white-tailed deer were positive from Tripp County.

He says it’s not the news they wanted to hear, but did expect to find the disease in new areas with increased sampling and testing efforts.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal brain disease of deer, elk, and moose caused by an abnormal protein called a prion. Animals in the later stages of infection with CWD may show progressive loss of weight and body condition, behavioral changes, excessive salivation, loss of muscle control and eventual death.

Chronic wasting disease is always fatal for the afflicted animal. CWD poses serious problems for wildlife managers, and the implications of long-term management for free-ranging deer and elk is unknown.