COUNCIL CHRONICLE – The deer hunting season started with a big problem in the United States. A lot of animals, in several states, have tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The cases are more frequent in Minnesota than in other states. It seems that the deer population might be facing an outbreak.
Last year, more than 11 cases were confirmed. Now, there are seven new cases investigated in Minnesota. These were discovered in hunted deer. However, from a sample of 700 hunted deer, only 7 cases were reported, which means that there is a 1 percent rate of infections.
In order to make sure that the chronic wasting disease hasn’t spread too much, the DNR is also testing hunted deer from other regions. The first results showed no sign of disease in the deer tested in Meeker and Crow Wing counties.
Deer are suffering from chronic wasting disease in more states than just Minnesota. Michigan, Wyoming, Arkansas, and Montana also reported deer with chronic wasting disease. Hunters are starting to be worried by this issue. This might also start causing problems in the hunting industry.
Chronic Wasting Disease
This condition is a transmissible disease which affects white-tailed deer, elk, reindeer, moose, and mule deer. It usually develops in adult animals, and it is progressive. Besides that, it is also fatal for the animal. Some of the first symptoms include difficulties in movement, weight loss, nervousness, tremors, and a lowering of the head.
There are no cases of chronic wasting disease reported in humans. Nonetheless, the CDC warns people against eating the meat of an animal that was infected with this condition because this might be risky. People are advised to test the meat if it was taken from a deer in an area affected by this disease. When people are field testing the animals, they should wear rubber gloves, wash the instruments, and wear eye protection. Also, it is important not the handle the brain or the spinal tissues of the infected animal, to avoid spreading the disease.
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