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Some Nebraska deer to be tested for bovine Tuberculosis

From the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

-- Hunters in northeast Nebraska are being asked to participate in an ongoing surveillance effort for bovine tuberculosis (TB) in wild deer.

The surveillance stems from the 2009 discovery of TB in a herd of captive elk and fallow deer in Knox County.

The infected captive herd has since been depopulated, and testing of wild deer living near the pen in 2009 found no TB-positive animals. However, agriculture and wildlife officials recommended further surveillance of deer killed by hunters in the region during the 2010 hunting seasons to help verify that the disease is not present in the wild herd.

The main area of focus will be in Knox and Cedar counties, but hunters in adjacent counties also should inspect harvested deer for any suspicious white or yellow spots in the chest cavity that may indicate TB.

Information about the disease, including pictures of infected deer, may be found on the Game and Parks website, and in brochures available at the district Game and Parks office in Norfolk.

Hunters who believe their deer has an indication of TB should notify a conservation officer or district Game and Parks office. It is recommended that hunters wear rubber gloves when field-dressing deer.

Game and Parks will collect lymph node samples for testing from some harvested deer during the November firearm season, Nov. 13 to 21, in the Missouri Firearm Unit. Samples will be taken at check stations in Creighton, Hartington, Niobrara, and South Yankton, as well as a temporary check station at Lewis and Clark Lake State Recreation Area.

The testing effort is being conducted in collaboration with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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