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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has an ongoing monitoring program to detect chronic wasting disease (CWD). FWC is continuing surveillance and Hunters can support this effort by voluntarily submitting their deer heads for testing (skull cap and antlers can be removed and kept by the hunter). Learn more by calling the CWD hotline at 866-CWD-WATCH (866-293-9282). 
 

CWD Testing Update

July 1, 2022 – April 11, 2024*

County/Location Not Detected (a) Detected (b) Pending (c) Not Tested (d) Total
CWD Management Zone Only (e) 540 1 0 3 544
Holmes 494 1 0 3 498
Jackson 631 0 1 2 634
Washington 308 0 0 4 312
Total in all three counties (Enhanced Surveillance Zone) 1433 1 1 9 1444

*CWD testing results are compiled annually beginning July 1.
(a) - The diagnostic test did not detect CWD. This “not detected” result is based on test sensitivity and the tissue that was tested and does not rule out the possibility the animal has CWD.
(b) - Confirmed positive for CWD.
(c) - The sample has been received by FWC and it is awaiting a test result from the diagnostic laboratory.
(d) - The sample was received by FWC, but unfortunately, it was not suitable for testing.
(e) - The CWD Management Zone includes the portions of Holmes, Jackson, and Washington counties north of Interstate 10, east of State Road 81 and west of U.S. Highway 231.
 

About CWD monitoring

Monitoring free-ranging deer involves a passive and an active component.

  • Passive (or targeted) monitoring tests deer that display abnormal behaviors such as listlessness, lowering of the head, inattentiveness toward people, walking in circles, staggering, and standing with a wide stance and/or are abnormally thin or found dead of unknown causes. Deer exhibiting these signs can be reported year-round by calling the CWD hotline at 866-CWD-WATCH (866-293-9282).
  • Active monitoring tests randomly selected hunter-harvested or road-killed deer that have died of known causes. 

Deer are received at the FWC where samples of brain stem and lymph node tissue are retrieved and submitted to USDA-approved testing laboratories for analyses. Not all deer specimens submitted for sampling are suitable for testing due to tissue condition or improper collection. Passive (targeted) surveillance deer that have died of unknown causes undergo complete necropsy to determine the cause of death. In this way FWC monitors for other diseases important to deer health in addition to CWD. The results are shared with the person reporting the case.

Deer collected from July 2002 - present

FWC Region Number Tested
NC 5,145
NE 3,422
NW 4,913
S 1,916
SW 2,465
Unknown 14
Total 17,875

Of this total, 1,154 samples were collected from sick/dead deer as part of the passive or targeted surveillance component of FWC's program.