The weekly Amarillo-area radio show, KGNC-710 Golden Spread AgriBusiness Update, invited R. Gayman Helman, DVM, PhD, MA, resident director of the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) in Amarillo to discuss the latest testing information on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Dr. Helman appeared with host James Hunt on the “CREET Beat Report” to talk about the disease and how to submit samples.
CWD is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects cervid species such as white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and others susceptible species. It is classified as a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, a family of diseases that includes scrapie, which is a disease found in sheep, and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, a disease found in cattle.
On July 2nd, the Texas Animal Health Commission announced the state’s first confirmed case of CWD in a penned deer. The specimen was submitted for routine testing to TVMDL, and when it presented as suspect positive, forwarded on the the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for confirmation. A second premises was identified with a positive sample later this summer. Since then, TVMDL has worked with TAHC and deer producers to continue testing for the disease. With the opening of Texas deer season, testing has ramped up as TVMDL and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department work together to gather hunter harvest samples for diagnostic testing.
You can hear the full show here, with Dr. Helman appearing near the 30:26 minute mark on the Friday, November 27 show: kgncnewsnow.com/listen/ag/.