Chronic wasting disease found in Tennessee

Chronic wasting disease has been preliminarily detected in western Tennessee, increasing the threat to deer and elk in Western North Carolina.

Tennessee initiated its Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan after white-tailed deer in Hardeman and Fayette counties — which border the Mississippi state line — tested positive for the disease in preliminary results. Tennessee is the second state bordering North Carolina to detect the disease, with Shenandoah and Frederick counties in Virginia, which border West Virginia, confirming cases.

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal disease that affects deer, elk, reindeer, sika deer and moose. Symptoms can include drastic weight loss, stumbling, listlessness and other neurological symptoms. There are no treatments or vaccines available.

The N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission has a Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan to guide its short-term efforts should the disease be detected in North Carolina or within 30 miles of its borders. Agency biologists conduct statewide deer sampling each year and attempt to sample all deer that show possible symptoms or die of unknown causes.

North Carolina now has a new rule prohibiting the importation of deer carcasses and specific carcass parts from anywhere outside North Carolina. The rule states that anyone transporting carcass parts into the state must follow processing and packaging regulations, which allow only the importation of specific products.

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