May 07, 2012

Depopulation Efforts Conclude at Macon County Facility

Depopulation efforts have concluded at a captive wildlife facility in Macon County, and testing for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been completed on all animals harvested. The roughly 3,000-acre facility operated by Heartland Wildlife Ranches LLC remains quarantined. The Missouri departments of Agriculture, Conservation and Health and Senior Services will continue to work with Heartland Wildlife Ranches LLC, to develop a five year management plan for the Macon County facility.

In total, 10 cervids tested positive and 356 cervids tested negative within the Macon County premises. None of the positive samples were obtained from the existing breeding herd. State and federal staff will be conducting a final verification over the next several weeks to ensure the facility has been fully depopulated.

Heartland Wildlife Ranches LLC began voluntarily depopulating their herd after the facility's first positive test for CWD was reported in October 2011 through random surveillance. Additional positive results were found in December 2011 and March 2012. Testing was completed at USDA-approved facilities and confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.

CWD is a neurological disease found in deer, elk and moose. There is no evidence CWD can be transmitted to humans or non-cervid animals, such as livestock and household pets.

For more information on CWD visit the Department online at