The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) will be increasing chronic wasting disease (CWD) sampling surveillance efforts in southeast Alabama after the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced the confirmation of a positive CWD test sample from a road-killed deer in Holmes County, Florida.
Due to the detection of CWD in Holmes County, Florida, ADCNR’s Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division will deploy additional self-service, drop-off CWD sampling freezer locations throughout southeast Alabama and increase CWD surveillance efforts, as outlined in Alabama’s CWD Surveillance and Response Plan. For more information about CWD sampling and a map of self-service, drop-off CWD sampling locations statewide, visit www.outdooralabama.com/cwd/cwd-sampling.
Alabama’s first case of CWD was detected in Lauderdale County in northwest Alabama in January 2022. Since 2022, there have been only three cases of CWD detected in Lauderdale County. To date, the disease has not been detected in any other Alabama county.
Hunters are ADCNR’s most important partner in the management of CWD. Samples voluntarily submitted by hunters during deer season assist ADCNR with statewide CWD surveillance. ADCNR will also continue to partner with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) on statewide CWD monitoring. ADAI’s assistance with testing samples allows ADCNR to better serve the public and provide timely information on the distribution and extent of CWD in Alabama.
Among deer, CWD is a progressive, fatal disease that commonly results in altered behavior due to microscopic changes in the brain of affected animals. An animal may carry the disease for years without outward indication. In latter stages of the disease, signs may include listlessness, lowering of the head, weight loss, repetitive walking in set patterns and a lack of responsiveness.
During deer season, hunters throughout the state are encouraged to provide deer heads for CWD sampling. The public is also encouraged to report roadkill deer and deer displaying unusual behavior to their local WFF District Office. Click here for contact information.
It is important that the public be familiar with Alabama’s CWD regulation and the CWD regulations in other states. To review Alabama’s regulation and the latest information about CWD in the state, visit www.outdooralabama.com/cwd-info.
ADCNR promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. Learn more at www.outdooralabama.com.