Chronic Wasting Disease Ends Decades of Kerr Deer Research

This is a picture of two deer who have contacted Chronic Wasting Disease. They appear sick.

“For six decades, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has known facilities like those in the article below foster the spread of CWD.


CWD was created in a Colorado experiment station at Ft. Collins in the 1960s. Infected animals were unwittingly sent to other confinement locations from which they escaped, spreading and jump starting the disease across wide areas.


CWD is now found in 33-states and 4-Canadian provinces.


This is a map of North America showing where instances of Chronic Wasting Disease in deer are occurring


NOTE: this article was originally published to on December 12, 2023. It was written by Shepard Price.


The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said Friday that a captive, white-tailed deer in the Kerr Wildlife Management Area tested positive for chronic wasting disease, a fatal neurological disease sometimes called “zombie deer” disease.


Chronic wasting disease, also called “zombie deer” disease, has ended deer research at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area.

After a 14-month-old, male, white-tailed buck at a research facility there tested positive for the disease, the facility and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department euthanized all deer in the captive population.

“TPWD staff are disappointed to abruptly end nearly 50 years of white-tailed deer research that has significantly influenced deer management in Texas and across the country,” John Silovsky, wildlife division director, said in a news release. “Staff will continue to investigate opportunities to enhance the understanding of this insidious disease in both captive environments and free-ranging populations.”

The research facility was built in 1974 to study white-tailed deer in a controlled setting. The double-high-fenced 23-acre facility consists of breeding and rearing enclosures and a series of other structures for handling research animals, according to the release. Research programs in the facility have supported wild deer herd management activities, outreach programs, trainings and the development of antler regulations across the state.

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