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From: TSS ()
Subject: Re: CWD Oklahoma ? Over 25 Dead Elk Spark Wildlife Investigation
Date: April 9, 2005 at 5:28 pm PST

In Reply to: CWD Oklahoma ? Over 25 Dead Elk Spark Wildlife Investigation posted by TSS on April 8, 2005 at 8:01 pm:

UNDIAGNOSED DEATHS, ELK - USA (OKLAHOMA)
************************************************
A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail, a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: 9 Apr 2005
From: ProMED-mail
Source: Sequoyah County Times, 8 Apr 2004, [edited]


The discovery of over 25 dead elk on a property south of Muldrow, Oklahoma
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.

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

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.[Chronic Wasting Disease does not typically affect this many animals
all at one time. - Mod.TG]

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 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 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.

[By Monica Keen]

--
ProMED-mail

[Neither CWD nor brain worm is likely to affect this many animals in one
location at the same time. If the animals are new to the pasture, or this
is the 1st spring in that pasture, it may be a plant that is toxic to the
animals.

Since the carcasses were visible from the roadside, it could be poison
maliciously put into the field. - Mod.TG]
.................tg/pg/dk


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