FWP solicits applications for CWD Citizen Advisory Panel
By Toby Trigger

Posted: March 4, 2017

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is seeking 6 -12 individuals to serve on a chronic wasting disease citizen advisory panel to provide input on the agency’s management plan for the disease

According to the Montana Fish Wildlife and parks News Release CWD is a progressive, fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. It is one of a group of diseases called Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies. Infectious, abnormal proteins called “prions” accumulate in an animal’s brain, causing a spongy appearance to the tissue visible only under a microscope.

There are no documented cases of CWD causing illness in humans. However, agency officials recommend never consuming meat from animals that are visibly ill or diseased, and to avoid consuming meat from an animal known to be infected with CWD.

The only documented cases of CWD in Montana were in captive animals at a game farm in Philipsburg in 1998; however, CWD has been detected in free-ranging populations in 22 other states and two Canadian provinces – some detections within a few miles of Montana.  In fact, it has been found in all the states or provinces bordering Montana except Idaho and British Columbia.

In other parts of the country, wildlife management agencies have dealt with CWD for years. In Wyoming, officials have seen declines in mule deer herds due to the high prevalence of the disease.

For those interested in participating in the CWD citizen advisory panel, applications can be found online on the FWP home page, fwp.mt.gov, look under Popular for CWD Citizen Advisory Panel.  Application deadline is March 15 and the FWP director will select panelists by March 25.  The first meeting will be April 5-6 at the Bozeman FWP regional office. Interested individuals should be willing to travel for up to six one to two-day meetings in 2017.

For more information contact John Vore at 406-444-3940.

This News Release originated from the MT FWP.  To read the full news release click here:  http://fwp.mt.gov/news/newsReleases/fishAndWildlife/nr_0919.html .