Kalispell, MT — Samples from three additional white-tailed deer in the Libby area are suspected to be positive for chronic wasting disease.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks was notified of the suspect samples on July 3. The Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado identified the samples to be suspected of CWD infection and will run second tests for confirmation.
The new results mark the latest detections of CWD in white-tailed deer in the Libby area. The initial detection, which occurred in late May inside city limits, marked the first time that CWD was detected west of the Continental Divide in the wild. The second positive detection was collected near the first sample site.
Of the three latest samples, one was a white-tailed buck that was road-killed and collected inside city limits; another was a symptomatic white-tailed doe collected inside city limits; and the third was a symptomatic white-tailed doe collected on Kootenai River Road near mile marker 1.
From late May through July 3, FWP has submitted 29 samples of white-tailed and mule deer for CWD testing. Two are confirmed positive and three are suspected to be positive. The positive detections have only involved white-tailed deer. CWD was not detected in 18 samples and results are pending for six. Sample results typically arrive within 10-14 days of submission.
FWP is working closely with the City of Libby and Lincoln County to develop a CWD surveillance plan. In accordance with Montana’s CWD Management Plan, FWP has assembled an Incident Command Team involving FWP staff from Libby, Kalispell, Bozeman and Helena to respond to the situation.
The next step in addressing CWD in and around Libby is to determine the geographic distribution and prevalence (i.e. percent