Chronic Wasting Disease

Courtesy / City of Fayetteville

Fayetteville's Code Compliance Department is reminding residents that it's against the law to feed and bait deer within city limits. Feeding causes deer to congregate, which furthers the spread of diseases such as Chronic Wasting Disease, a fatal neurological disease that affects members of the deer family.

courtesy: Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

University of Arkansas biologists Marlis and Michael Douglas are using genetic information to study how groups of white-tailed deer are related throughout the state, so they can better track the movement of animals that have chronic wasting disease. The couple’s research will also determine which groups of deer are less susceptible to CWD, and help inform future strategies for managing the disease in Arkansas deer.

Z. Sitek / KUAF

Chronic wasting disease has continued its slow spread into Benton, Washington and Sebastian counties, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is working with Mark Zabel of the Prion Research Center at Colorado State University to discuss management strategies and participate in research that could shed light on where various CWD cases originated. Zabel, who is a leading researcher on prion diseases like CWD, also discusses his concerns about human consumption of CWD-infected animals.

In February, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission confirmed that an elk discovered in Newton County tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease. Since that time, testing has revealed a greater prevalence of the degenerative disease than Game and Fish officials had hoped to discover within the area. We get an update on testing efforts and on how the Game and Fish Commission hopes to prevent further spread of the disease.