Following confirmation of a positive test for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a single white-tailed deer in Holmes County, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) have scheduled two additional public meetings in Bonifay and Marianna to discuss new regulations in an attempt to slow the spread.
The meetings will provide information about chronic wasting disease, updates on the unified agency and partner response, new hunting regulations for the area, sampling and testing procedures, and an opportunity for area residents to ask questions about CWD and its management strategies.
Details for the public meetings are as follows:
Questions for both meetings can be asked in advance by emailing CWD@MyFWC.com. A recording of the first public meeting in July can be found at The Florida Channel.
What is Chronic Wasting Disease?
According to the FWC, CWD is a contagious disease of the brain and central nervous system that is always fatal to deer, elk, moose, caribou and other members of the deer family. The disease causes deterioration of bodily condition, as well as a reduced fear of humans, listlessness, and excessive salivation before eventual death.
It is one of the most serious wildlife diseases facing state wildlife agencies such as the FWC because it could substantially reduce infected deer populations. In addition to Florida, CWD has been detected in 30 states and 4 Canadian provinces.
The FWC is working with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, hunters, captive cervid owners, landowners, and the public to reduce the risk of CWD spreading into Florida.
The FWC and its agency partners take CWD very seriously and have implemented a comprehensive response plan. As part of the plan, the FWC and FDACS have been collecting samples from established zones to further assess any spread of the disease.
The FWC is asking anyone who sees a sick, abnormally thin deer or finds a deer dead from unknown causes to call the CWD hotline, 866-CWD-WATCH (866-293-9282) and report the animal’s location.
For more information on Chronic Wasting Disease, visit MyFWC.com/CWD.