CWD discovered in Florida deer

The white-tailed deer had been struck by a vehicle in Holmes County

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has confirmed the presence of chronic wasting disease in a wild deer killed on the highway. After the female white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Holmes County was confirmed to have the prion disease, the agency activated its chronic wasting disease response plan. FWC officials say they will continue to monitor samples taken from deer in specific zones to monitor the spread of the disease, which is deadly in cervids.

“We take very seriously our responsibility to prevent, detect and respond to animal health issues in Florida—all to safeguard our agriculture industry and our world-renowned wildlife and natural resources,” said Wilton Simpson, commissioner of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in a press release. “Ensuring the health of Florida’s deer population is a team effort, and we will continue to work diligently with our state and federal partners to respond.”

Holmes County is in Florida’s panhandle, bordering Alabama to the north and near the southwestern border of Georgia. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources announced it was prepared to start its own protocol if CWD is detected there.

Read more at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Header Image: Chronic wasting disease is deadly to white-tailed deer and other cervids. Credit: Henry