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From: TSS ()
Subject: NJ Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish and Wildlife CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ( CWD) SURVEY INFORMATION
Date: February 12, 2005 at 9:46 am PST

NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Fish and Wildlife
1998 - 2005
A survey of 502 hunter-killed deer was conducted in 1998 by NJDFW, USDA, NJDA.
The sampling was focused on representing most of the deer range and historical sites of Bovine
Tuberculosis, since both CWD and TB were surveyed. None of the deer submitted to USDANVSL
tested positive for CWD or TB. The statistical analysis of these findings indicate that if
chronic wasting disease was present it would be in less than one-half of one percent (+ 0.5%) of
the state’s adult herd, which was estimated at 150,000.
Brain stem samples (obex) were collected from 953 wild New Jersey white-tailed deer
(Odocoileus virginianus) in a chronic wasting disease (CWD) survey during the 2002-2003
November, December and early January deer firearm seasons. The survey was a joint effort of
the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, NJ Department of Agriculture and US Department of
Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) and East Stroudsburg University.
The stations were selected based on representation of the over-all deer population densities and
the presence of captive cervids (deer and elk) in the 14 square mile deer management units
(DMUs). None of the 900 samples suitable for testing were positive for chronic wasting disease.
The state’s adult herd was estimated at 170,000, which yielded a similar 0.5% prevalence
sensitivity with a slightly greater than 95% confidence level.
This survey was partially funded by the USDA-VS under a grant. All of the brainstem and or
retropharyngeal lymph node samples, collected from 51 hunter-killed deer in the fall of 2003, 4
hunter-killed deer in 2002 and 52 captive deer slaughtered in 2003 from high-risk deer
management units 29, 41(Sussex County) and 120 (Warren County) were negative for chronic
wasting disease (CWD) prions. The high-risk status of the units was based on illegal imports of
deer to captive herds in those units from CWD endemic Wisconsin. The captive herd in Sussex
County, Hardyston Twp. was placed under quarantine (still in effect) and a set of criteria
developed to serve as an outline for future CWD-free herd certification. Statistical analysis
indicates that if CWD was present it would have been in less than 1-5% of the estimated deer
populations in DMUs 29 and 41 (1112 deer) and the estimated deer population in DMU 120
(308) at the 95% and 99% confidence levels, respectively. Five CWD symptomatic wild deer
and three captive symptomatic elk (Kingwood twp., Hunterdon County) were also tested and
found negative. This survey brought the total number of wild deer tested to 1,458 with an
additional 52 high-risk captive deer and 3 high-risk captive elk also testing negative.
This year’s survey also is partially funded by the USDA-VS and began with three slaughtered
deer from the Hardyston twp. quarantined herd and a spontaneous unexplained death of a wild
deer. However, this survey will focus on sampling deer killed under the NJDFW Community
Based Deer Management Program in which deer are being shot by commercial contractors for
municipalities not able to open lands to public access during normal deer seasons. Sampling
from deer killed under these programs began on January 4, 2005. Brain stems and
retropharyngeal lymph nodes have been collected from 191 adult deer as of January 31, 2005.
These came from the Duke Estate (93) in Somerville, Princeton (41), Montgomery (4),
Watchung Borough (35) and Bridgewater (14). Additional deer from Watchung Reservation and
Summit are anticipated through March 2005. These samples are expected to fill the void in these
areas during previous hunter-killed deer surveys.


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