The Iowa Department of Agriculture is still working on the fate of deer on private farms in Van Buren County after tests came back showing Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
State Veterinarian Jeff Kaisand says there are around 25 deer involved. “Right now we have two herds that are positive. Each herd has had one animal test positive..confirmed test positive,” Kaisand says. CWD is a neurological disease that only affects deer, elk and moose — and causes the animals to die.
Doctor Kaisan says they want to be sure the disease stays where it is and does not spread. “They’re farm-raised deer — so they’re fenced in deer. So, they don’t have direct contact with wild deer. They are separated by a fence,” according to Kaisan. He says the deer are used for hunting and federal officials will determine if they destroy the entire herd.
“We are currently waiting for them. There’s usually not enough money for all the herds in the United States, so the prioritize which herds they’re going to pay the indemnity to to depopulate,” Kaisand says. “We’ve applied for indemnity for both herds and we are waiting to hear.”
He is not sure how much it would cost. Doctor Kaisand says the federal government has a calculator they use to appraise the herd. There is no evidence that CWD can spread to humans, pets or domestic livestock.
There have been some positive tests for CWD in wild deer and the DNR has worked with residents to take additional tissue samples as they try to contain its spread. The latest test results released in January showed a positive Dubuque County CWD test along with eight positive deer confirmed in Allamakee County, four in Clayton County, one in Wayne County.