"CWD is spread both directly from deer to deer and indirectly to deer from infected soil and other surfaces," said Dr. Straka. "Current fencing standards for captive-cervid facilities do not prevent direct contact between captive and free-ranging deer."
Current requirements for holding captive cervids at animal-auction facilities and exhibitions also do not prevent direct or indirect contact among different groups of captive deer.
According to MDC, importing captive deer into Missouri is currently allowed and can bring CWD and other diseases into the state. Of the 37 states that have captive-deer breeding and big-game hunting preserves, many have closed their borders to the importation of live deer. The Department added that some captive-cervid facilities in Missouri test all their deer that die for CWD, but not all are required to.
Over the next few months, MDC will go to Missouri deer hunters and other stakeholders with a goal of maintaining healthy wildlife populations across the state. As a result of information received, Wildlife Code changes may be suggested to the Conservation Commission for review.
MDC will host the following public meetings around the state to provide information on Missouri deer and CWD and to get comments about limiting the spread of the disease among captive and free-ranging deer. People can also post comments online.
Sept. 3, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Macon County Expo Center, HWY 63
Sept. 5, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., MDC Powder Valley Nature Center, 11715 Cragwold Road, Kirkwood
Sept. 16, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., West Plains Civic Center, 110 St. Louis St., West Plains
Sept. 18, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., MDC Cape Girardeau Nature Center, 2289 County Park Drive.
Sept. 23, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., MDC Runge Nature Center, HWY 179, Jefferson City
Sept. 30, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Missouri Western University Kemper Recital Hall in Leah Spratt Hall, 4525 Downs Drive, St. Joseph
Oct. 1, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., MDC Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Road, Blue Springs
Oct. 9, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., MDC Springfield Nature Center, 4601 S Nature Center Way
For more information, go online to mdc.mo.gov and search Chronic Wasting Disease.
Source: Missouri Department of Conservation