A second deer harvested from hunting unit 3F2 in Grant County, South Dakota during 2013’s gun hunting season has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.
This latest case is the also fifth CWD-infected deer to show up in unit 3F2 within the last five years. The other infected deer were reported in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
CWD is a fatal disease that affects the nervous system of deer, elk and moose. There is no clear indication yet that the disease affects humans.
The AP reported that wildlife officials believe the infected deer might have come from South Dakota where CWD is already present. State fish and game has restrictions for unit 3F2 to prevent the spread of the disease to other states. Hunters harvesting deer from Unit 3F2 are not allowed to transport deer with their heads still attached to their spinal columns out of the unit, unless if they are taken directly to a meat processing plant.
The state’s fish and game website reported that the hunter who reported the sample said the deer looked healthy. The department collects harvested deer samples annually to monitor the disease. The sample was sent to the University of Michigan for testing, and is being confirmed at a lab in Ames, Iowa.
A number of deer killed by CWD have recently turned up throughout the Midwest. For the first time in five years, a CWD infected deer was found in Wisconsin. Another recent CWD-infected deer was reported in Pennsylvania.
The majority of reported CWD infected deer come from the Midwest. This image from the CDC’s website shows the concentration of CWD cases.
Image Source: Center For Disease Control