Virginia DWR holding public meetings this week on Chronic Wasting Disease in the NRV

New River Valley News

(WFXR) — For those who are interested in learning more about Chronic Wasting Disease, the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources will be holding a pair of meetings in the New River Valley.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal neurological disease of deer, elk, and moose. CWD was first diagnosed in West Virginia in 2005, Virginia in 2009, Maryland in 2010, and Pennsylvania in 2012.  In Virginia, CWD has been detected in Fauquier, Frederick, Clarke, Culpeper, Loudoun, Madison, Montgomery, Rappahannock, Shenandoah, and Warren counties.

CWD is caused by abnormal infectious proteins called prions. Prions can pass between deer through saliva, feces, urine, and through water or soil contaminated with prions. For more information see the links below.

The potential impacts of CWD to the Virginia white-tailed deer population are a serious concern, though the disease has not been shown to pose a health risk to humans or domestic animals. DWR is responsible for CWD surveillance and management in Virginia. The Department relies on assistance from hunters, taxidermists, processors, other agencies, and diverse constituent groups to implement surveillance.

Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources

The first meeting is slated for Tuesday, Aug. 24 between 6 and 8 p.m. at Blacksburg High School’s Auditorium. This meeting is also being streamed virtually via Facebook.

The second meeting takes place on Wednesday, Aug. 25 between 6 and 8 p.m. at Floyd County High School’s Auditorium.

If you are interested in attending either meeting in-person, you will be required to wear a mask.

These meetings come after the department confirmed a CWD case in a 2.5-year-old male deer legally harvested in southwestern Montgomery County back in May. For details on how the DWR is responding to this detection, visit the DWR DMA3 website.

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