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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A second case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was recently detected in a sample from a white-tailed deer killed in Lauderdale County.

According to a news release from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), CWD is a progressive, fatal disease among white-tailed deer and other deer spieces that results in altered behavior.

Animals may carry the disease for years without signs, but as it progresses, the animal may show signs like listlessness, lowering of the head, weight loss, lack of response, and repetitive walking in a set pattern.

After the first case was detected in January, ADCNR designated all of Colbert and Lauderdale counties as CWD Management Zones (CMZ). The areas west of U.S. Highway 43 in Lauderdale to the Mississippi and Tennessee state lines and south of the Tennessee River are a “high-risk zone,” while the remainder of both counties is considered a buffer zone.

Samples were collected from 966 white-tailed deer harvested within the CMZ during the 2021-2022 hunting season. The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries found one additional positive case while testing the samples.

After analyzing the results, ADCNR is suspending the use of supplemental wildlife feeding and baiting privileges within the CMZ. The suspension does not apply to bird feeders within 100 feet of a building or occupied dwelling or feed inside an active feral hog trap.

“The suspension of supplemental feeding and baiting privileges in Lauderdale and Colbert counties is an attempt to slow the spread of CWD in the affected area,” said Chris Blankenship, ADCNR Commissioner. “We take the presence of this disease very seriously and are utilizing our CWD Strategic Surveillance and Response Plan to manage it. Our staff is prepared, and the Department will do whatever is prudent and reasonable to protect the state’s deer resources and our hunting culture.”

Supplemental feeding and baiting privileges are still allowed outside of the CMZ.

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