Archived Outdoors

Deer, elk disease spreads to more N.C. counties

Chronic wasting disease affects cervids, a group of animals that includes deer and elk. File photo Chronic wasting disease affects cervids, a group of animals that includes deer and elk. File photo

New detections of Chronic Wasting Disease, a fatal ailment affecting cervids like deer and elk, have been reported in Cumberland and Wilkes counties, spurring N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Executive Director Cameron Ingram to invoke emergency powers.

Ingram has delineated new surveillance areas for CWD and specified requirements to reduce movement and infection risk. These actions will work in concert with temporary rulemaking actions the Wildlife Commission took at its March 30 meeting, when it voted to notice five temporary rules related to CWD management. Comments will be accepted through April 28.

The proposed temporary rules will delineate several new counties or parts of counties as primary or secondary surveillance areas that were not designated as such in 2022. In the northwestern part of North Carolina, new designations will apply to Alleghany, Alexander, Ashe, Guilford, Iredell, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin counties. In eastern North Carolina, new designations will apply to Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Robeson and Sampson counties. Davie and Forsyth counties will continue to be designated as secondary surveillance areas as they were in 2022.   

In all of these surveillance area counties, rules will prohibit fawn rehabilitation, govern the transportation of deer carcasses and carcass parts, prohibit the placement of minerals and salt licks to congregate wildlife at any time and prohibit the placement of bait, food, or food products to congregate wildlife outside of the hunting season.    

Since the first North Carolina case of CWD was detected in March 2022, the disease has been found in Surry, Yadkin, Stokes, Cumberland and Wilkes counties. It has been found in 30 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces in free-ranging cervids or commercial captive cervid facilities.

To comment on the proposed temporary rules, include name, phone number and mailing address in an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or use the comment portal at Hard copy comments can be mailed to Rulemaking Coordinator, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, 1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699.

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