A captive deer has been confirmed for chronic wasting disease, the first in Texas. Officials are trying to avoid hysteria.
Deer hunting in Texas is a $2.1 billion-dollar industry and Texas lawmakers are trying to avoid the hysteria a case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) will cause with Texas hunters.
In June, a two-year-old deer in a Medina County breeding facility tested positive for CWD, the first ever in Texas.
CWD is a prion disease that takes up to five years to develop in deer but is almost always deadly. It is also very difficult to contain which has led to mass culls at many deer breeding facilities in other states where CWD has been found.
Rather than jump to a culling conclusion, Texas Parks and Wildlife and numerous representatives are attempting to solve this growing issue right before hunting season.
The deer from the facility with the CWD case will all be killed and tested. Many lawmakers want to keep hunters hunting in Texas and not panic due to a single case.
“It sent a message you’ve got poisoned animals in the field, and the number of hunters dropped significantly. We’re trying to develop the industry,” saidRep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio). Larson wants to avoid hysteria at all costs.
CWD has not been found to affect humans but, at the moment, there is no cure or vaccine. It is similar to “mad cow” disease.
“The Centers for Disease Control recommends not consuming animals that have a disease, but there has been no link to any human illness made,” said Dr. Andy Schwartz, assistant executive director of the Texas Animal Health Commission.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday in Austin to discuss how to move forward. It will be open to the public.