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LETTER: Positive CWD test a sign more testing needed

July 14, 2015
Charly Seale

Herald Democrat

July 12, 1015

Re: Outdoors Digest, (7/3,

It’s important to remember that one case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is not an epidemic. However, the appearance of CWD on a deer farm in Medina County is a sign that the state should test more free-ranging animals for CWD.

CWD first appeared in West Texas after free-ranging animals brought it in from New Mexico, which is nothing new: Wild animals have spread CWD from Wyoming to West Virginia. There is concern that free-ranging deer may be spreading CWD to private deer farms, as is suspected in a number of other states.

Farmed deer cannot be imported into Texas and there are strict regulations on their movement between in-state farms. And while many farms test 100 percent of their eligible mortalities as part of a CWD certification program, state wildlife agencies test only a small percentage of free-ranging animals for CWD – often less than 1 percent of free-roaming populations.

The state needs to invest more resources in testing free-ranging deer for CWD in order to have a better idea of where the disease is and is not. Doing so will allow for better management and mitigation of the disease.

Charly Seale

American Cervid Alliance