LDWF updates Louisiana’s Chronic Wasting Disease control area

Published 2:29 pm Thursday, August 11, 2022

By Hunter Cloud
The Natchez Democrat

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries issued a Declaration of Emergency on Thursday to extend the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone.

This zone was amended on Aug. 3 to exclude portions of Franklin Parish and Madison Parish. The area still includes all of Tensas Parish; all of Madison Parish south of U.S. 80 and east of U.S. 65, and a small section in the northwestern quadrant of the parish; and the eastern third of Franklin Parish.

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A 25 mile buffer zone where the CWD-positive deer was found on Yucatan Island in Tensas Parish also exists.
The new map and boundaries will apply to the CWD Control Area once the current Notice of Intent becomes an official rule on Aug. 20, Deer Program Director Johnathan Bordelon said.

Under the emergency order:

• All supplemental feeding, including mineral or salt licks, is prohibited in the control area. The purpose of this feeding ban is to reduce the potential for the spread of CWD in Louisiana by reducing the risk of exposure when deer are concentrated around feeding sites.

• The use of approved bait not normally ingested by deer for feral hog trapping will be allowed. All bait must be placed and contained within the trap itself. Backyard bird feeders are also exempt from this supplemental feeding prohibition.

• The export of cervid carcasses or part of a cervid carcass originating within the controlm area is prohibited, except for: meat that is cut and wrapped; meat that has been boned out; quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached; antlers; clean skull plates with antlers; cleaned skulls without tissue attached; capes, tanned hides,; finished taxidermy mounts; and cleaned cervid teeth.

LDWF instituted its CWD Incident Action Plan in Tensas, Madison and Franklin parishes in response to an adult buck harvested in December 2021 in Tensas Parish being diagnosed with CWD, a disease that is always fatal to deer. It was the first deer recorded with CWD in the state, making Louisiana the 29th state to discover the disease.

Other than the initial case, CWD was not detected in any of the 218 samples collected in the three parishes and submitted to the Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory for testing. Additional samples are still being collected and analyzed, as LDWF continues its surveillance in this CWD Control Area.

LDWF is still waiting on the DNA test results from the Tensas buck to return from Texas A&M University. The results could give more insight to if the buck was a pen raised deer or a local deer.