Chronic Wasting Disease
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal, neurological disease of farmed and wild deer and elk. Missouri developed a herd certification program in 2002 to protect and manage captive cervids.
CWD is a transmissible Spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) of cervids (members of the deer family). First recognized as a clinical wasting syndrome in 1967, the disease is typified by chronic weight loss leading to death. There is no known relationship between CWD and any other TSE of animals or people. Species known to be susceptible to CWD via natural routes of transmission include Rocky Mountain elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, black-tailed deer, and caribou.
For more information on CWD, visit www.aphis.usda.gov.