Testing of 300 white-tailed deer in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas Parishes did not detect chronic wasting disease, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

The testing, which occurred in a 25-mile buffer zone from Issaquena County, Mississippi where a buck tested positive for CWD in January only miles from the Louisiana border, provided a 95 percent confidence interval that sampling would detect the disease at a prevalence rate of 1 percent.

As a result, the feeding ban in those three parishes enacted by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission earlier this year was rescinded. However, the LDWF still encourages hunters not to utilize supplemental feeding there, as it increases the chance of spreading disease among animals using the bait station.

CWD is a fatal neurodegenerative disease affecting members of the family Cervidae, which includes white-tailed deer, and it’s 100 percent fatal. Infected animals show signs including weight loss, salivation, neurological difficulties and ultimately death. However, symptoms may not become apparent until 16 to 24 months after the deer is infected.

The LDWF will perform increased hunter-harvested deer surveillance for CWD in the Northeast Louisiana this hunting season, and will continue normal CWD surveillance across the state. 

So far, LDWF has tested nearly 9,000 deer for CWD since 2002