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Chronic Wasting disease identified in Craighead County



Little Rock, Arkansas – According to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, a white-tailed deer discovered in Craighead County tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) (AGFC).

During a deer hunt near Jonesboro, a 2-year-old doe was sampled by AGFC representatives. At a check station that the hunter utilized, an AGFC employee discovered a CWD sample. The sample was subsequently forwarded to the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Madison, where it tested positive for CWD.

The counties of Mississippi, Cleburne, Sharp, and Craighead will be included in the CWD Management Zone.

Given that all three counties are exposed to CWD within a 10-mile radius, the likelihood of the illness being common there is increased.

Because of a group of infected deer that were allegedly discovered in Randolph County, close to Dalton, within five miles of the county line, Sharp County was added. Shirley in Van Buren County discovered a deer close to the Cleburne County border that was positively diagnosed with the disease. Since several deer found from Mississippi County to Tipton County, Tennessee, tested positive for CWD, Mississippi County was added to the management zone.

“Protecting the health of Arkansas’s deer herd is our top priority. We are being very proactive in all of our CWD management areas. Our desire is not to disrupt hunting, but to proactively address this disease while it is potentially at low prevalence,” says Cory Gray, chief of the AGFC Research Division.

For the balance of the 2023–24 deer hunting season, the CWD Management and Response Plan states that the deer shooting laws will not change.
AGFC created a list of CWD detections for counties in Arkansas in response to the CWD exposure.

AGFC Deputy Director Brad Carner said, “Including these counties in the CWD Management Zone allows us to implement targeted management strategies to slow the spread of this disease and minimize its impact on our deer population and hunting opportunities.”

A list of testing facilities for hunters who would like their deer tested for CWD is provided here.



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