September 27, 2023 2:57 am
Wyoming Game and Fish Department

Wildlife well being lab tests additional than six,000 CWD samples in 2022


six/five/2023 five:12:17 PM

Laramie – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Well being Laboratory tested six,701 samples from massive game animals for chronic wasting illness (CWD) in 2022. Testing was completed earlier this year and samples had been submitted from all through the state. CWD was not detected in five,875 samples and 826 samples had been optimistic. Some samples submitted had been not testable. 

Jessica Jennings-Gaines, Game and Fish wildlife illness specialist, mentioned these numbers are primarily based on submissions from hunters, road-killed animals and animals identified dead or in poor situation. 

CWD is a chronic, fatal illness of the central nervous technique in mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. It belongs to the group of uncommon illnesses referred to as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. These problems are triggered by abnormally folded proteins referred to as prions. Early in the illness animals do not show any clinical indicators. Later on, impacted animals show progressive weight loss, reluctance to move, excessive salivation, droopy ears, elevated drinking and urination, lethargy and sooner or later death.

The quantity of tested samples and optimistic tests have remained steady for the previous 3 years. In 2021, six,884 samples had been tested with 839 positives and in 2020, six,496 samples had been tested with 829 positives. 

Nevertheless, Jennings-Gaines noted that comparing the quantity of optimistic tests every single year can be misleading simply because Game and Fish’s CWD surveillance plan focuses on various deer and elk herd units every single year. Moreover, the quantity of positives is proportional to the prevalence of CWD in the distinct herd unit surveyed. 

“We can say that the prevalence of CWD is gradually rising in numerous deer and elk herd units in the state,” Jennings-Gaines mentioned. “The western half of Wyoming has numerous deer hunt regions exactly where CWD has not been detected, nevertheless the illness continues to spread west and was detected in two new deer and 5 new elk hunt regions final year.”  

Jennings-Gaines mentioned the lab, which consists of 4 personnel and 3 contract personnel, spent the majority of the 2022 hunting season conducting CWD testing with peak testing occurring in between October and November. That does not consist of surveillance preparation, information entry and writing reports as soon as the testing season is more than. 

The majority of the test samples this year had been collected by Game and Fish field personnel at hunter verify stations or by means of regional offices. 

“Chronic wasting illness is a main concern for Game and Fish and we thank hunters who contributed samples from their deer, elk and moose,” Jennings-Gaines mentioned. “These samples are instrumental in assisting us much better recognize the prevalence and distribution of this illness in our state.”

For additional information on CWD, please check out the Game and Fish site.

(Breanna Ball, Public Data Officer – (

– WGFD –

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