Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

More Hi-Line deer test positive for CWD


December 4, 2018

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced Monday that more deer in this area have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, leading the agency to declare Hill County north of U.S. Highway 2 a CWD-positive area.

The agency said in addition to the Hill County mule deer buck that tested positive for the degenerative, fatal neuromuscular disease, four others which tested positive were harvested in areas already named CWD-positive in Blaine and Carbon counties. Three more mule deer that tested positive were harvested in areas not previously declared CWD-positive in Valley and Daniels counties, 15 miles northwest of Scobey and another just inside the Fort Peck Indian Reservation about 15 miles southwest of Scobey.

Prior to last year, the disease had never been confirmed in Montana wildlife although it was present in animals in Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Saskatchewan and Alberta. It was confirmed in an elk from a game farm near Phillipsburg in 1999.

After the disease was confirmed in an animal harvested in Liberty County and several harvested in Carbon County last year, FWP implemented testing and management plans including special hunts to test for the disease.

While no cases of the disease infecting people have been reported, it is recommended to never ingest meat from animals that appear to be sick or are known to be CWD positive. The CDC recommends hunters who have harvested a deer, elk, or moose from a known CWD-infected area have the animal tested prior to consuming it.

Hunting was closely monitored this year and transportation restricted zones, from which brain and spinal cords of harvested animals could not be transported, were implemented.

FWP said in its release it conducted CWD surveillance across the Hi-Line during the general big game season, which ended Nov. 25. Samples from the surveillance efforts are coming in weekly, with a new batch of results expected the middle of next week.

Once the majority of CWD sample results are collected, FWP officials will determine next steps, which may include expanding current CWD positive areas and expanding CWD transportation restriction zones, the release said.

FWP has more information on CWD in Montana available online at http://fwp.mt.gov/CWD/.


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