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From: TSS ()
Subject: Chronic Wasting Disease found in doe; FIRST IN NY
Date: March 31, 2005 at 11:27 am PST

Chronic Wasting Disease found in doe; first in NY

Corydon Ireland
Staff writer

(March 31, 2005) — State agriculture and environment officials today confirmed the first New York case of Chronic Wasting Disease, a brain and nervous system disorder that affects members of the deer family, including white-tailed deer, elk, mule deer and moose.

The disease, already found in states as far east as Illinois, does not affect humans, domestic livestock or other mammal species. This is the first case on the eastern seaboard.

"This is going to be big news," said Ward Stone, chief wildlife pathologist with the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Transmission is still a mystery, he said, but the infectious agents can even last in soil for two or more years.

CWD belongs to a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). In bovines, the condition is commonly called "mad cow disease".

Characterized by chronic weight loss, CWD is always fatal. An animal can be infected for months or years before dying.

The first New York case was found in a 6-year-old doe in a captive herd of white-tailed deer in Oneida County. The so-called "index herd" — whose location was not identified by officials — will be slaughtered and tested for the disease.

Other herds associated with the affected herd will be quarantined, said officials from the state Department of Agriculture and Markets.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation will extensively monitor wild deer herds nearby.

CWD so far has been found in isolated wild populations of deer and deer-like animals in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

In Canada, CWD has been found in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

In New York, since the inception of CWD testing in 2000, a total of 681 captive deer and elk have been tested for the disease. None of the previous tests were positive.

The DEC started testing wild deer for CWD in 2002, and has so far tested 3,457 white-tailed deer — including 40 from Oneida County. None of the tests came up positive.

Statewide, there are 433 establishments licensed to keep 9,600 deer and elk in captivity.

The DEC estimates there are one million wild deer in New York.

CIRELAND@DemocratandChronicle.com

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050331/NEWS01/504010370/1001/BUSINESS

TSS




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