The test results are in and show that Iowa’s deer population remains free of the deadly Chronic Wasting Disease. Alan Foster of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says it’s good to hear that none of the 45-hundred whitetail deer tested had C-W-D. He says they’ve been testing for a couple of years now and didn’t expect to find anything, but were really excited by the news. Foster says one of the concerns is they don’t really know much about C-W-D. He says what they do know is the disease is always fatal and theoretically could be spread by one-to-one contact. Foster says a spread of the disease could decimate the herd and cause the state to lose some of the millions of dollars spent on deer hunting. The disease has been found in Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois — but Foster says it apparently hasn’t spread. He says Iowa has natural barriers in the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers that help stop the transmission of the disease. And he says Iowa doesn’t allow hunters to put out bait to lure deer, and there’s not a large number of people that feed deer like there is in Michigan. Foster says feeding deer gets them to group into a small area, and that makes it easier for diseases to spread. Deer samples were collected from all 99 counties in Iowa — with the majority taken in the seven Mississippi River border counties stretching from Allamakee County south to Scott County. Foster says they’ll test again this year. He says they’ll probably test the same amount of deer, and if they find anything, they would intensify the testing. Iowa hunters and lockers voluntarily contributed samples to the D-N-R to test for C-W-D.
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