Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance in North Carolina

Although chronic wasting disease (CWD) has not been documented in any samples (N = 2,447) collected in North Carolina, the potential biological, economical, and sociological implications associated with this disease are significant. Discovery of CWD in Wisconsin prompted the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) to implement a preventative disease management strategy in May 2002. Revisions to administrative rules pertaining to captive cervids were implemented, including testing, tagging, and inspection requirements. A short-term buyout program was established to compensate individuals voluntarily relinquishing their cervid herd and captivity license to NCWRC. Minimizing occurrence of illegally-held cervids was also a goal. Monitoring and surveillance of CWD were expanded for free-ranging whitetailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), including a statewide, systematic sampling of hunter- and road-killed deer and free-ranging deer located around captive cervid facilities. Information was disseminated to increase public awareness of CWD and disease management actions implemented by NCWRC. All management actions implemented by NCWRC have been designed to prevent introduction of CWD into North Carolina or to increase likelihood of detection should it exist. Key words: captive cervids, chronic wasting disease, white-tailed deer, disease surveillance, North Carolina, Odocoileus virginianus, wildlife disease

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