WALDRON (KFSM) — Chronic wasting disease has been found in Scott County, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC).
A hunter-harvested a white-tailed deer north of Waldron that tested positive for the disease, the commission announced in a news release on Friday (Dec. 21).
The deer was confirmed as CWD-positive at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin.
Preliminary tests indicated the positive case last week,” said Dr. Jenn Ballard, state wildlife veterinarian for the AGFC.
Scott County is located outside Arkansas’s 16-county chronic wasting disease management zone but does not expect any changes to deer-hunting regulations to take place for the remainder of the 2018-19 deer hunting season, the AGFC reports.
“We will evaluate the need for any expansion of the CWD Management Zone during the regular hunting regulations-setting process once the season is over,” Ballard said. “Changing the regulations mid-season would not be fair to hunters.”
The new positive case in Scott County shows how CWD can slowly spread under normal circumstances Ballard said.
“We know bucks tend to carry a higher prevalence of the disease than does and we know bucks can disperse long distances, potentially moving the disease across the landscape,” Ballard said. “That is why we have partnered with taxidermists to help us collect samples as a free service to hunters.”
CWD was first discovered in Arkansas in February 2016. The AGFC says later testing determined that CWD was likely in the state for decades before being detected. The AGFC has sampled and screened over 10,000 deer and elk from around the state.
Hunters wishing to have their deer tested for CWD can take the head of the deer in question, with about 6 inches of neck still attached, to one of the AGFC’s networks of participating taxidermists to have the sample texted for free. Hunters can also drop the head off at one of several CWD-testing Collection Stations positioned throughout the state.
Click here for more information on chronic wasting disease from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.