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Public meeting on fatal deer disease set for March 15 in Corydon

CORYDON - Deer hunters who hunt in Wayne County take note– chronic wasting disease(CWD) has shown up in your area.

A hunter harvested wilddeer taken during the first shotgun season in southeast Wayne County has testedpositive for CWD. This is the first hunterharvested wild deer outside of northeast Iowa to test positive for the alwaysfatal disease. 

The Iowa Department ofNatural Resources (DNR) has scheduled a meeting on March 15, at 6:30 p.m., inthe 4H Banquet Hall at the Wayne CountyFairgrounds, 800 Second Ave., in Corydon, to discuss the status ofCWD in Iowa and how deer hunters can help stopor slow the spread of CWD.

TerryHaindfield, wildlife biologist for the Iowa DNR who is leading the effort tocombat CWD, will coordinate the meeting. He said there are several thingshunters can do today to help monitor for the disease.

“Thefirst and most important is to allow sampling of hunter harvested deer,” hesaid. “Second, is to remove any mineral blocks and feeders that unnaturallyconcentrates deer and increases the chance of spreading any disease, and finallyreport any sick or emaciated deer to the DNR.

“Wewant people to come to this meeting, ask their questions, hear the concernsfrom other hunters,” Haindfield said. “Deer hunting is an important traditionand, for some, a large part of their identity. It is also important to us andwe need to work together to combat this disease. Our goal is to provide qualitydeer hunting today, tomorrow, and for future generations.”

The Iowa DNR has testednearly 69,000 deer tissue samples for CWD since monitoring began in 2002. Thedisease first appeared in Iowa’s wild deer herd in 2013. So far, there havebeen 28 positive tests: 25 in Allamakee County, 2 in Clayton County and 1 inWayne County.

The Iowa DNR sets anannual goal of collecting 4,500 deer tissue samples. The effort has focused onportions of northeast and eastern Iowa near Wisconsin, Illinois, andsouth-central Iowa near Missouri, where CWD has been detected. Additionaltesting has been conducted in Pottawattamie, Cerro Gordo and Davis counties,following positive tests from captive facilities. All counties have at least 15samples taken annually to check for CWD.  The disease has been foundin every state around Iowa.

CWD is a neurologicaldisease belonging to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiformencephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases.  It attacks the brainof infected deer and elk causing the animals to lose weight, display abnormalbehavior, lose body functions and die. It is always fatal to the infectedanimal.

“Deer hunting is one ofIowa’s great traditions. We want to educate and work with our hunters so wecontinue to have the best deer herd in the country for generations to come,” hesaid.

The Iowa DNR has moreinformation about CWD and other infectious disease online at www.iowadnr.gov/cwd.  

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