A spokesman for the Iowa Department of Agriculture, Dustin Vande Hoef, says a disease that kills deer has been found in a deer in eastern Iowa.
“Chronic Wasting Disease, CWD, was confirmed in a captive white-tail at a deer farm in Buchanan County,” Vande Hoef says. He says the farm has to take steps to keep the disease from spreading.
“They’re under quarantine, so they are not able to move any deer,” Vande Hoef says. “They need to come up with a plan to remediate this problem.” He says the DNR will also do more testing in the area. He says the DNR has been testing wild deer since 2002 and will focus some more of that testing on Buchanan County in the upcoming seasons. DNR staff will work with hunters and landowners to collect samples from deer taken by hunters, roadkill deer and any deer displaying symptoms of CWD.
Samples from two deer taken during the hunting season in Allamakee County last year tested positive for CWD. It was the third straight year CWD had been found in the eastern Iowa area. Follow up testing in Allamakee County failed to turn up any additional deer infected with the disease. Vande Hoef says it is important to kept it in check.
“It’s caused by an abnormal protein called a prion that kind of infects the brain of the animal and causes them to lose weight and to lose bodily functions,” according to Vande Hoef. The state deer biologist says testing for CWD in animals shot in this year’s hunt is not yet complete. He says those testing results are usually available in January.