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From: TSS (
Subject: New cases of chronic wasting disease found in southeast Wyoming (NEW AREA)
Date: October 23, 2004 at 3:54 pm PST

New cases of chronic wasting disease found in southeast Wyoming

Associated Press

LARAMIE, Wyo. - Chronic wasting disease has been discovered in a new area of southeast Wyoming, state wildlife officials said.

The disease creates holes in the brains of deer and elk, causing the animal to grow thin, act abnormally and die. Similar to mad cow disease, chronic wasting has been found in a dozen U.S. states and Canada.

A mule buck deer harvested Oct. 3 on the east side of the Medicine Bow Mountains southwest of Laramie and just north of the Colorado line tested positive for the disease.

"Finding CWD in this hunt area is disappointing but not surprising," said Game and Fish Department Laramie Region wildlife coordinator Bob Lanka in a release Friday.

"We know that CWD surveys conducted in Colorado have documented the disease just south of the state line. We also know that studies conducted in the area have documented regular deer movements across the state line. Finding this positive simply fills in one of the few remaining gaps between Wyoming and Colorado."

Samples are being collected at check stations and meat processors statewide to allow the department to monitor distribution and prevalence of the disease in Wyoming.

"Our voluntary program is still working well," said Hank Edwards, wildlife disease specialist in charge of testing and mapping chronic wasting disease. "We have received 1,200 samples so far this year. Of those, we have identified 13 positives out of 950 tested. This is the only new area documented so far this year."

The finding occurred in Hunt Area 76, which is roughly bordered by Wyoming Highways 130 and 230 between Centennial and Fox Park.

Edwards and his staff tested 74 deer this season from the area.

The Game and Fish Department recommends that deer hunters transport only the following items from Area 76 and other areas where chronic wasting disease is known to exist: cut and wrapped meat, boned meat, animal quarters and other pieces with no portion of the spinal column or head attached, hides without the head, cleaned skull plates, and antlers with no meat or other tissue attached.

The head, spine and other nervous tissue, where abnormal protein causing the disease is usually found, should be left at the site of the kill or disposed of in an approved landfill, the agency said.

Chronic wasting disease has been endemic to a 12,000-square-mile area of southeastern Wyoming and northeastern Colorado for more than 30 years. But the movement of the ailment to such places as northeast Wyoming and the west slope of the Continental Divide has wildlife managers concerned about its spread.

There never has been a known case of it being transferred to humans or livestock, but people are cautioned not to eat the brain, nervous tissue or lymph glands of the animals.

Copyright © 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright © The Billings Gazette, a division of Lee Enterprises.

MORE news from Jay on Mad Deer disease (CWD) in the USA ;


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