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Kansas: Decatur County CWD Sampling Results Negative

From Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks

-- Tissue samples from deer collected earlier this month in Decatur County all have tested negative for chronic wasting disease (CWD), reports the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

After three deer taken by hunters in that area during the 2007 hunting season tested positive for the disease, KDWP biologists collected an additional 39 deer in Decatur County Feb. 11 through 13. Screening tests performed by Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory on those 39 samples yielded results that KDWP and Decatur County hunters and landowners wanted to hear: no additional positive results for the disease.

The additional samples were collected to gauge the prevalence of the disease in other deer in the area, said Dr. Ruby Mosher, KDWP's wildlife disease coordinator. The meat from those deer was given to Decatur County residents.

"We truly appreciate the help and cooperation of the citizens and landowners of Decatur County," Dr. Mosher said. "We couldn't have done what we did (additional sampling) without the help of Decatur County officials and staff. We also appreciate the cooperation of the Kansas Department of Transportation for allowing us to use their facility in Oberlin for initial processing of the deer."
Dr. Mosher said that lab analysis of about 1,650 deer tissue samples submitted by Kansas hunters during the past hunting season have yielded no additional positive CWD results.

KDWP is awaiting results of another 550 hunter-submitted samples from the 2007 deer season, but all of those are from the eastern half of the state, where the known risk of CWD is lower than western Kansas. Analysis of all hunter-submitted samples from the western half of the state is complete.

CWD had been detected twice in Kansas prior to the latest occurrence in Decatur County.

The first case was in 2001 in a captive elk herd in Harper County. The other occurred during the 2005 hunting season in a wild whitetail doe harvested in Cheyenne County.

Earlier this year, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reported a CWD-positive deer from an area just a few miles north of Decatur County, in Red Willow County, Neb.

KDWP biologists have conducted annual sampling of hunter-harvested and road-killed deer since 1996.

In recent years, numerous cases of CWD have been documented in neighboring areas of Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming.

The Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance maintains an online clearinghouse of information about CWD. More information is also available on the KDWP website.

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