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From: TSS ()
Subject: CWD Oklahoma ? Over 25 Dead Elk Spark Wildlife Investigation
Date: April 8, 2005 at 8:01 pm PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: CWD Oklahoma ? Over 25 Dead Elk Spark Wildlife Investigation
Date: Fri, 08 Apr 2005 22:08:40 -0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

Over 25 Dead Elk Spark Wildlife Investigation
By Monica Keen, Staff Writer

Friday, April 8, 2005 4:19 PM CDT

Over 25 dead elk discovered on property south of Muldrow has sparked an
investigation by wildlife officials to determine why the animals died.

"It's an ongoing investigation," Chief Larry Manering with the Oklahoma
Department of Wildlife Conservation said Thursday.

Manering said it was his understanding the Sequoyah County Sheriff's
office received a complaint from concerned citizens about dead elk that
could be seen from the road.

The sheriff's office contacted wildlife officials, who started their
investigation at that time.

"A search warrant was executed (Tuesday) in regard to what's going on
with those dead animals," Manering said.

Manering said wildlife personnel, the sheriff's office, and officials
with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture are involved in the

"There's concern on everybody's part," Manering said.

One of those concerns is Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), which is
currently a hot topic nationwide, Manering said. He said CWD is one of
the diseases the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture is testing for in
this herd of elk.

"I know we have concerns, as well as the public," Manering said.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Web site, CWD
is a degenerative neurological illness affecting farmed and wild elk and
deer in North America. No other types of animals are affected.

"Oklahoma has no documentation of any CWD," Manering said.

Manering said wild deer are tested each year to make sure there are no
cases of CWD since CWD would be a detriment to wildlife and the state.

Jack Carson, spokesperson for the department of agriculture, said
according to preliminary findings, over 25 elk were found dead at the

Carson said agriculture agents took tissue samples from the dead elk,
and the testing is being done by a USDA lab, which will notify them of
the results. Carson said he is hoping to hear from the lab sometime next

Carson called the testing "very routine."

"We automatically test something like that for CWD," Carson said.

Carson stressed that all animals are susceptible to many different
diseases. He said the dead elk could be linked to a parasite problem or
they could have been aged animals.

Carson said from his understanding the dead elk were part of a fairly
sizeable farmed-elk herd, but he did not have a head count.

"This is standard operating procedures," he said. "We do this for any
serious disease."

Carson said CWD affects the central nervous system and works like a bad
parasite. He said it can cause various problems such as staggering and
emaciation. Carson noted that there is no evidence CWD has any impact on
human health.

Carson said the agriculture department's primary concerns are animal
health and carcass disposal. He said the department makes sure carcasses
are buried properly.

Carson said the wildlife conservation department manages a herd of elk
in the Cookson Hills area and they have a problem called brain worm in
that herd, which is responsible for much of elk death there.

"It's very possible that's what we could be looking at with this,"
Carson said.

Manering said after their investigation is complete, the district
attorney's office will decide if any charges, such as wildlife
violations, will be filed against the elk owners. He noted that game
wardens have not written any citations.

> "We automatically test something like that for CWD," Carson said.

IT will be interesting to know what the results of these test are?


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