Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

What is CWD?

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a contagious neurological disease that affects deer, moose, and elk. The disease is caused by a misfolded protein called a prion. Animals infected with CWD show no visible symptoms of the disease until the last few months of the incubation cycle. The visible signs of CWD are emaciation, gradual loss of body condition and coordination, excessive drinking, and lack of fear towards humans. Transmission occurs when animals come in direct contact with body tissues or fluids like saliva, feces, urine from an infected animal. CWD is a serious disease that is 100% fatal and needs to be stopped.

CWD in Wisconsin

CWD has not yet been found in Bayfield County.  The closest positive case of CWD was in Washburn County near Shell Lake.  More information about CWD and Bayfield County's efforts to prevent it can be found in our informational handouts:


Your local contact in Land Conservation is Ben Dufford