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From: TSS (
Subject: Deer disease found in Big Horns for first time
Date: November 20, 2004 at 1:12 pm PST

Deer disease found in Big Horns for first time

AP Slugline: w0224_BC_WY__ChronicWastingDis_


KAYCEE, Wyo. (AP) - For the first time, a fatal brain malady found in elk and deer has been discovered in north-central Wyoming.

A white-tailed buck and a mule deer taken in the Kaycee area last month both were found to have chronic wasting disease, or CWD, Wyoming Game and Fish officials announced Friday.

''Although CWD has been found in southeastern Wyoming for a number of years, this is the first time we have found CWD in the east slope Big Horn Mountains,'' said Warren Mischke, spokesman for the agency's Sheridan Region.

The white-tailed deer was killed by a hunter Oct. 22 and taken to a local processing plant.

Department personnel noticed the animal was very thin and decided to collect the lymph nodes for analysis. The Game and Fish lab in Laramie reported the result Nov. 12.

The same day, results revealed chronic wasting disease in the mule deer, which had been killed Oct. 24.

So far, the laboratory has tested 120 animals from Hunt Areas 30 and 33, where the diseased deer had been taken.

''We may need to collect more deer to learn additional information about the distribution of CWD in and around this new area,'' said Dan Thiele, Game and Fish wildlife biologist based in Buffalo.

''Current research indicated infested animals tend to be found in localized groups, or clusters. Taking 25 to 30 deer out of the immediate area will allow us to see how well established CWD may be in the area and potentially limit the spread.''

Officials are hoping to obtain more hunter-harvested samples from the area. Hunters can contribute to surveillance efforts by having deer or elk tested, Thiele said.

A total of 3,269 hunter-harvested deer and elk in Wyoming have been tested this fall, with 70 testing positive for the disease.

Besides Kaycee, two other new areas were found to have the illness: southwest of Laramie and near Elk Mountain.

Chronic wasting disease attacks the brains of infected animals, causing them to display abnormal behavior and eventually become emaciated and die. There is no evidence the disease can spread to people.

Once thought to exist only in the wild in northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming, the ailment has also been found in deer and elk in Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and two Canadian provinces.


On the Net:

Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance:

AP-WS-11-20-04 1346EST



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