The importance of localized culling in stabilizing chronic wasting disease prevalence in white-tailed deer populations

Mary Beth Manjerovic, Michelle L. Green, Nohra Mateus-Pinilla, Jan Novakofski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Strategies to contain the spread of disease often are developed with incomplete knowledge of the possible outcomes but are intended to minimize the risks associated with delaying control. Culling of game species by government agencies is one approach to control disease in wild populations but is unpopular with hunters and wildlife enthusiasts, politically unpalatable, and erodes public support for agencies responsible for wildlife management. We addressed the functional differences between hunting and government culling programs for managing chronic wasting disease (CWD) in white-tailed deer by comparing prevalence over a 10-year period in Illinois and Wisconsin. When both Illinois and Wisconsin were actively culling from 2003 - 2007, there were no statistical differences between state CWD prevalence estimates. Wisconsin government culling concluded in 2007 and average prevalence over the next five years was 3.09 ± 1.13% with an average annual increase of 0.63%. During that same time period, Illinois continued government culling and there was no change in prevalence throughout Illinois. Despite its unpopularity among hunters, localized culling is a disease management strategy that can maintain low disease prevalence while minimizing impacts on recreational deer harvest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Volume113
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • Chronic wasting disease
  • Culling
  • Disease management
  • Prevalence
  • Prion
  • White-tailed deer
  • Wildlife

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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