Chronic wasting disease detected in a female reindeer on Hardangervidda

Thursday 6th of October, the Norwegian Veterinary Institute notified the Norwegian Food Safety Authority of a new confirmed case of CWD on Hardangervidda, in a hunted female wild reindeer (Rangifer tarandus). Both lymph node and brain tissues tested positive.

- This detection is a sad, but not entirely surprising discovery, says Jørn Våge, CWD-coordinator at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute. The institute has made calculations of possible occurrence on Hardangervidda, and this new case is within the expectations, says Våge.

This is the second case of classical CWD that has been detected outside Nordfjella zone 1, where the disease was first detected in 2016. The adult female was shot south on Hardangervidda in Vinje municipality, the same municipality as the other case from this management area, a male shot in September 2020.

CWD is a fatal prion disease in cervids. Symptoms are emaciation, frequent urination and abnormal behaviour, e.g. animals not scared of humans. There are several different strains of prions that can cause CWD. In Norway, we have detected both contagious CWD in wild reindeer, and sporadically occurring CWD in older moose (Alces alces) and red deer (Cervus elaphus). Sporadic CWD is thought to occur spontaneously and its occurrence indicates that it is either not contagious between live animals, or has low contagiousness. In the past, classic/contagious CWD has been found in wild reindeer in Nordfjella and on Hardangervidda, and atypical/sporadic CWD in moose and red deer in various parts of the country.

Since the first confirmed case in 2016, more than 155,000 cervids have been tested for CWD. Of these, 6,800 are wild reindeer from Hardangervidda. See statistics (link)

See online announcement from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority - new announcement (link to norwegian article)

More information about chronic wasting disease (CWD).


Norway has a monitoring program for CWD, financed by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority. The program includes CWD examination of semi-domesticated reindeer and other wild and farmed cervids. Prior to March 2016, no cases of CWD had been detected in Norway or other European countries.

Read more on the surveillance in Norway



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