AP file photo.
RICHMOND — The Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries is asking Virginia hunters to help in the agency’s surveillance and management of chronic wasting disease (CWD).
Chronic wasting disease has been detected in Virginia in five deer killed less than a mile from the West Virginia border in one area. The continued existence of the disease in Hampshire and Hardy counties in West Virginia and Allegany County in Maryland is causing concern, the agency said.
As in the past, the entire CWD Containment Area is a mandatory sampling area for any deer killed on Nov. 16, 23 and 30. Any deer, or at least the head and neck of any deer, killed in the containment area on those days must be brought to a designated sampling station.
The CWD Containment Area boundaries are west of I-81 in Frederick County and the city of Winchester, and west of I-81 and north of State Route 675 in Shenandoah County.
Designated sampling stations include Cather’s Market, 2765 Northwestern Pike, Winchester; Cline’s Store, 19004 Senedo Road, Edinburg; Crossroads Grocery, 119 Cedar Grove Road, Winchester; Gore Grocery, 305 Gore Road, Gore; Graden’s Supermarket, 6836 John Marshall Highway, Lebanon Church; Shawnee Springs Market, 6656 N. Frederick Pike, Cross Junction; and T&R Processing, 691 Carpers Valley Road, Winchester.
The agency strongly encourages hunters who are successful on days other than the three listed above to volunteer the head and neck from their deer for sampling by bringing it to one of the agency’s self-service refrigerated drop stations.
Those stations include Frederick-Winchester Conservation Club, 527 Siler Road, Winchester, north of Gainesboro; Walker’s Cash Store, 3321 Back Road, Woodstock at the intersection with St. Luke Road; North Mountain Fire & Rescue, 186 Rosenberger Lane, Winchester off State Route 600 behind Tom’s Market; and Rock-Enon Boy Scout Camp, 292 Rock Enon Springs Road, Gore on the porch at Garrabrandt Lodge, the first building on the right.
In addition to mandatory checking, VDGIF will continue several management actions in the northern Shenandoah Valley in response to the presence of the disease in Frederick County. Within the containment area measures include prohibiting the movement of deer carcasses and body parts out of the containment area (with some exceptions), restricting the disposal of deer wastes from the containment area, and prohibiting the rehabilitation of deer.
In the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah and Warren, and in the city of Winchester, feeding of deer is prohibited year round, and seasons and bag limits on private lands have been eased in an attempt to reduce the deer population.
CWD has been detected in 22 states and two Canadian provinces. The disease is a slow, progressive neurological (brain and nervous system) disease found in deer, elk and moose in North America. The disease is ultimately fatal.
Symptoms exhibited by infected deer include staggering, abnormal posture, lowered head, drooling, confusion, and marked weight loss. There is no evidence CWD can be naturally transmitted to humans, livestock or pets.
Anyone who sees a sick deer displaying any of the signs described above should contact the nearest VDGIF office immediately with accurate location information. Do not attempt to disturb or kill the deer before contacting the agency.
More information on CWD can be found on the agency website at www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/diseases/cwd/.