Elk NetworkCWD Found in Montana Game Farm Elk

Conservation | February 5, 2020

The Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) reports that a game farm elk in eastern Montana tested positive for chronic wasting disease, the first such confirmation in domestic cervids since 1999.


DOL placed the herd under quarantine as it conducts an epidemiological investigation. Montana law requires CWD positive game farm herds undergo complete depopulation and post-mortem herd testing, or quarantine of the entire herd for a period of five years from the last CWD positive case.


Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks documented CWD in wild cervids across much of Montana through surveillance that began in 2017. In 2019, it sampled approximately 7,000 wild deer, elk, and moose statewide, with 140 testing positive for CWD.


According to a 2015 media report, there were 30 game farms in Montana at that time. A 2000 initiative, approved by Montana voters, banned both the creation of any new game farms and the possibility of existing farms from hosting canned hunts.


(Photo source: Missouri Department of Conservation)