LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — State wildlife officials held a public meeting Thursday night to discuss Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) detected in animals killed in Lauderdale County earlier this year.
CWD is a contagious neurological disease of white-tailed deer and other deer species, according to the ADCNR. It is caused by a mutated protein called a prion and is always fatal for white-tailed deer.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports no strong evidence that CWD can infect humans.
As previously reported, the first positive test of CWD in Alabama was found in December 2021. After issuing some emergency regulations, the Alabama Division of Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) tested nearly 1,000 deer before the end of the season. Only one other deer tested positive.
However, officials say hunters are still required to submit their deer for testing.
In the meeting, officials stated that bagging limits are back to normal, though deer harvested in the high-risk zone and buffer zones established earlier this year should still be submitted for testing. The testing quota has also been increased in other nearby counties like Lawrence, Limestone, and Colbert.
Officials say they will be very dependent on hunters submitting as many deer samples as possible.
“It has the potential to have long-term negative effects on the white-tailed deer population,” said WFF spokesperson Marianne Gauldin. “That’s why we are grateful to hunters and others sportsmen for helping us pay attention to the deer.”
Learn more about chronic wasting disease in Alabama here.