December 21, 2021
PIERRE, S.D. – Chronic wasting disease (CWD) was recently confirmed in a new area in central South Dakota. Confirmation of the disease was obtained from a hunter-harvested adult female white-tailed deer in Buffalo County.
South Dakota has now confirmed CWD in 19 counties, and this is the second detection of CWD in free-ranging deer or elk east of the Missouri River in South Dakota.
The GFP Commission recently modified carcass transportation and disposal regulations for the entire state that are effective beginning with the 2021 hunting seasons. The goal of the new CWD regulations is to help reduce the artificial spread of CWD into new areas of South Dakota.
CWD is a fatal brain disease of deer, elk, and moose caused by an abnormal protein called a prion. Most harvested individuals with CWD will appear healthy and display no clinical signs. Animals in the later stages of infection with CWD may show progressive loss of weight and body condition, behavioral changes, excessive salivation, loss of muscle control and eventual death. CWD is always fatal for the afflicted animal. CWD poses serious problems for wildlife managers, and the implications of long-term management for free-ranging deer and elk is unknown.