Iowa wildlife experts are increasing their monitoring programs statewide for the version of “mad cow disease” that strikes wild deer. Chronic Wasting Disease, or C-W-D, has been confirmed in herds in three border states, South Dakota, Nebraska and Wisconsin, but no cases have been found in Iowa.Dale Garner, a disease specialist with the Iowa D-N-R wildlife bureau, says road-killed deer will be tested for C-W-D starting April first, with the help of the Iowa D-O-T. Garner says more captive deer herds in Iowa will be tested for the disease too.Voluntary check stations will be set up this fall so hunters can have their game sampled. In addition to the border states, cases of C-W-D have also been confirmed in Colorado and Wyoming. Garner says Iowa farmers and hunters shouldn’t have anything to worry about, but there is an automatic fear, since this is basically a deer form of “mad cow disease.” The C-D-C says chronic wasting disease only effects elk and deer and can’t be transmitted to any other wild animals, livestock — or to humans. He says that doesn’t make hunters worry any less. Garner says the C-D-C recommends animals with the disease not be eaten.
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