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Two wild Missouri deer test positive for CWD

January 25, 2012 at 01:58 PM

Prairie State Outdoors

Missouri has its first cases of chronic wasting disease in wild deer.

Two adult bucks killed by hunters in Macon County during the fall 2011 firearm season have tested positive for CWD.

The Missouri Department of Conservation tested 1,077 tissue samples taken from hunter-harvested deer.

Sampling was done in response to two CWD cases discovered at private hunting preserves in Linn and Macon Counties.

A third captive deer at one of the preserves tested positive in December.

MDC plans to take more samples in the area where the two wild bucks were taken.

CWD is a neurological disease that is limited to deer, elk and moose.

CWD is spread by animal-to-animal contact or by animal contact with soil that contains prions from urine, feces or the decomposition of an infected animal.

Prions are the abnormal proteins that attack tissues in the central nervous system.

Animals with signs of CWD can become emaciated, behave erratically and eventually die.

CWD can spread through natural movements of infected animals, transportation of infected live captive animals, or the transportation of infected carcasses.

There is no evidence CWD is transmissible to humans, livestock or domestic animals.

MDC has tested more than 34,000 free-ranging deer for CWD from all parts of the state since 2002.

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