Ask the Warden…about CWD testing
BY JIM JUNG
Wisconsin DNR Warden
Question: This question is in regard to the recent (March of 2018) positive Chronic Wasting Disease, (CWD) wild deer found within Oneida County. How does the DNR know that the positive deer was not a “false positive?” My question is, how does the DNR test animals for CWD?
Answer: The testing conducted on the positive deer in Lincoln and Oneida counties were done on hunter-harvested dead deer. The samples collected from deer include two lymph nodes from the animals’ throat area which are submitted to the Wisconsin Veterinary Laboratory for testing. Confirmatory tests are run on all CWD positive test results to validate positive results. Although CWD testing does not generate “false positive“ test results, it may be possible that an animal that had been tested and has a “not detected” result could actually have the disease as it could be in earlier stages of infection not yet detectable in the lymph nodes. The deer may not show clinical signs of the disease nor test positive in early stages of infection. The DNR is encouraging hunters to submit harvested deer heads for sampling at various CWD stations set up in Oneida and Lincoln counties during the 2018 hunting seasons.