CWD Discovered on Kansas Elk Ranch

July 15, 2020

The Kansas Animal Health Division (KAHD) has announced the discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease in a farmed elk at a ranch located in Osage County. The positive sample was identified during routine testing as the ranch is enrolled in the voluntary Chronic Wasting Disease administered by KAHD and the United States Department of Agriculture. 

This discovery marks the first and only case of Chronic Wasting Disease is known to exist in farmed elk or deer in Kansas in 19 years. 

Chronic Wasting Disease is an extremely rare neurological disease that impacts some species of the deer, elk and moose family. Kansas, however, due to its proximity to Colorado, commonly finds Chronic Wasting Disease in the state’s free-ranging whitetail deer herd. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism noted 37 Chronic Wasting Disease positive free-ranging whitetail deer were found out of 360 samples submitted during in the 2018-2019 hunting season. 

The Kansas Elk & Deer Association is working to support the herd owner in concert with the Kansas Animal Health Division with the response and management plan. Kansas is fortunate to have regulatory animal health officials that focus on the best known science in dealing with Chronic Wasting Disease. The herd owner has requested the discovery be used as an opportunity for research with the North American Elk Breeders Association’s Elk Research Foundation. 

If any KEDA members are contacted regarding the recent Chronic Wasting Disease discovery or have questions about the disease in general, the association directs questions to Travis Lowe, Executive Director of the Elk Research Foundation at





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