Chronic Wasting Disease Detected in White-tailed Deer in Fairfax County
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been confirmed for the first time in a white-tailed deer harvested in Fairfax County. An adult male deer that was harvested on private land in Vienna this deer hunting season has tested positive for CWD. The sample was obtained by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) from a taxidermist participating in statewide CWD surveillance and confirmed positive for CWD through laboratory testing. This deer was harvested and tested independently from the Fairfax County Deer Management Program.
FCPD wildlife management staff, in collaboration with park ecologists and the DWR, have been proactively conducting surveillance for CWD in Fairfax County since 2019 given the likelihood that the disease would spread to our area and the implications it poses for deer conservation and management. Over the past 4 years, county staff have sampled and tested over 750 deer harvested through the Fairfax County Deer Management Program. The majority of samples were taken from hunter-harvested deer through the county’s archery program.
County staff are working in close partnership with the DWR to determine any new rules or regulatory changes that will occur, testing options for hunters in the county program and on private property, and how this detection might affect local processors, taxidermists, and Hunters for the Hungry donations.