The Missouri Department of Conservation is offering  statewide voluntary chronic wasting disease sampling and testing of harvested deer during the entire deer season at locations throughout the state.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports it has recently confirmed the first case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) found in Pulaski County. The confirmed case is from an adult male deer harvested by a hunter near Waynesville. According to the department, a tissue sample was collected from the deer for CWD testing as part of MDC’s routine annual statewide surveillance for the disease.

MDC said the department will provide hunters in the Pulaski County area with opportunities to have their harvested deer sampled for CWD testing. MDC is also offering statewide voluntary CWD sampling and testing of harvested deer during the entire deer season at select locations throughout the state, including participating MDC offices, cooperating taxidermists and new freezer head-drop locations. 

Sampling and test results are free. Residents can find locations and more information online at mdc.mo.gov/cwd or by contacting one of MDC’s  regional offices.

CWD is a deadly disease in white-tailed deer and other members of the deer family, called cervids. According to the department, the disease has no vaccine or cure and eventually kills all cervids it infects. 

According to MDC, there have been no reported cases of CWD infecting people, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends having deer tested for CWD if harvested in an area known to have the disease. 

The CDC also recommends not eating meat from animals that test positive for CWD.