KALISPELL — State wildlife officials report that a second moose has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in northwest Montana.
A hunter harvested the bull moose during the last week of the general hunting season near Fawn Creek southeast of Libby within the existing CWD Management Zone, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
FWP collected the sample from the moose Dec. 1 at the Libby Sampling Station on U.S. Highway 2 and submitted it for testing to the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.
The lab identified it to be suspected of CWD infection on Jan. 14 and confirmed the positive detection Jan. 17 with a second test.
CWD was first detected in the Libby area in the spring of 2019 after a white-tailed deer tested positive. FWP established the Libby CWD Management Zone and began surveillance efforts to identify the prevalence and distribution of the disease.
FWP reports that to date, 61 white-tailed deer, two moose and one mule deer have tested positive for CWD in the Libby area.
The first moose to test positive was harvested approximately half a mile outside the northwest corner of the Libby CWD Management Zone in late October. FWP reports the rest of the positive results have all occurred within the Management Zone -- and a majority were near the urban center of town.
“FWP is working with the City of Libby as it considers an urban deer management plan that would reduce the density of deer in the Libby Survey Area and hopefully reduce the prevalence and spread of CWD,” said FWP Region 1 Wildlife Manager Neil Anderson.
CWD is a fatal disease that can affect the nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. There is no known transmission of CWD to humans or other animals, including pets or livestock.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that hunters harvesting a deer, elk, or moose from an area where CWD is known to be present have their animal tested for CWD prior to consuming the meat, and to not consume the meat if the animal tests positive.
Click here for more information on CWD in Montana.