Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks tested more than 1,300 deer, elk and moose collected during the 2010-2011 hunting season and did not detect chronic wasting disease in any of the animals.
Montana’s detection program tests sick and road-killed deer, elk and moose, and has relied heavily on testing samples from hunter-harvested animals collected in “high risk” areas. CWD is a brain disease in deer, elk and moose that is always fatal.
Over the past 13 years FWP has tested more than 16,400 wild elk or deer in Montana for CWD and has not yet found any evidence of it.
CWD was diagnosed in 1999 in nine captive elk on an alternative livestock facility, or game farm, near Philipsburg. All the animals there were destroyed and the facility was quarantined.
“It is good news that we haven’t found CWD in Montana wildlife populations yet, but given that the disease occurs in wild elk, deer and moose in adjacent states and Canadian provinces we’ll keep testing. It’s likely we’ll find it here at some point,” said Neil Anderson, FWP’s Wildlife Laboratory supervisor.
FWP adopted a CWD Management Plan to help protect Montana’s wild deer and elk from infection and to manage the disease should it occur here. If you see sick, emaciated animals, please report them to the nearest FWP regional office, or the FWP biologist in your area. For more information, visit FWP’s CWD Frequently Asked Questions at fwp.mt.gov and search “CWD.”