Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy of cervids. The development of the disease is slow and affected cervids show loss of body condition and altered behaviour. Once clinical disease occurs, death is inevitable. The disease is present in North America, where it is endemic in some countries of the USA.
On last April, the Norwegian Veterinary Institute diagnosed CWD in a free-ranging reindeer from South-Norway. This is the first case of the disease detected in Europe, as well as the first detection of natural infection in reindeer worldwide. After this case, three other cases were diagnosed, the last one at the end of August.