Chronic Wasting Disease update from Tensas, Franklin and Madison Parishes shows no new positive detections

Published 7:40 am Tuesday, March 8, 2022

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The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) continues its surveillance work in the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) control area in the northeast Louisiana parishes of Franklin, Madison, and Tensas.

LDWF instituted its CWD Incident Action Plan in those three 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 current 218 samples collected in these 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 .

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The three-parish area remains under a feeding and carcass export ban.

What this order means:

  • All supplemental feeding, including mineral or salt licks, is prohibited in Franklin, Madison, and Tensas parishes. 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 Tensas, Franklin and Madison parishes 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 will present a notice of intent to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission during its April 7 meeting to help mitigate the spread of the disease. Public meetings will also be held in the coming months.