TWRA expands high-risk counties for deer with chronic wasting disease

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The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced that Lauderdale County has been confirmed as having deer test positive for chronic wasting disease, or CWD. Henderson County is also now classified as a CWD high-risk county.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced that Lauderdale County has been confirmed as having deer test positive for chronic wasting disease, or CWD.

Henderson County is now classified as a CWD high-risk county with the confirmation of CWD in a hunter-harvested deer in Madison County within 10 miles of the Henderson County border. CWD has also been identified in other counties, including joins Chester, Fayette, Hardeman, Haywood, Madison, Shelby, and Tipton Counties.

The CWD-positive confirmation within 10 miles of Henderson County causes it to begin having wildlife feeding and deer carcass movement restrictions to help prevent the spread of CWD. Since deer hunting season has concluded, TWRA will consider changing hunting seasons and bag limits in Henderson County at a later date.

“This news may seem like CWD matters are getting much worse, however, agency biologists were not taken by surprise with these developments,” said Chuck Yoest, TWRA species program manager. “National CWD experts warned agency staff to anticipate finding the disease as far as 200 air miles from the initial detections in Hardeman and Fayette counties in 2018 since prevalence was already high in the counties.”

Since the first detection, TWRA staff have been working to determine what specific areas of southwest Tennessee are impacted and how prevalent the disease is where it does exist. The Lauderdale County detection is the farthest northwest detection and the Madison County detection is the farthest northeast from the original detections in Hardeman and Fayette counties in late 2018.

Supplemental feeding of wildlife is banned in CWD-positive and high-risk counties. This includes the placement of grains, salt products, and other consumable natural and manufactured products for wildlife. The ban does not apply to feed placed within 100 feet of a residence, feed placed in a manner not accessible to deer, or feed and minerals as the result of normal agricultural practices. Food plots are still legal in these counties.

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