As Texas hurries to instill a plan to prevent spreading, additional CWD-positive deer are found in the same farm.
Two preliminary reports have come back as positive, as Texas state officials test a captive herd in Medina County, according to the Austin American Statesman.
By next week, conclusive results of the tests (samples have been sent for final declarations to Ames, Iowa diagnostic laboratory) could be in, and they could influence the fate of an entire herd.
The deer, two of 35 bucks, does, and fawns owned by breeder Robert Patterson, came from the San Antonio-area ranch that saw a positive test in early July.
All 35 had to be euthanized, since CWD is not detectable without a postmortem test. The remainder of the some-200 deer left on Patterson’s ranch, many of which he has said are highly-rated bucks with large racks, await the decision of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and their special meetings.
Movement of deer between breeding facilities and ranches has stopped within Texas borders, and future measurements may be put in place in response to the CWD-positive findings.
Texas deer breeding is a huge, multimillion dollar industry, and the state’s 1,300 breeders are holding their collective breath to see the determinations made and the effect they have on their practice.
In addition, the state’s four million-strong wild deer population could be at risk as well, and a wait-and-see period extends as the dawn of a new hunting season approaches.