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Deer in Central Utah Tests Positive For Chronic Wasting Disease

Salt Lake City -- The Division of Wildlife Resources learned Sept. 19 that a deer killed during an earlier depredation effort in central Utah has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD).

The deer was killed recently near Fountain Green in Sanpete County.  It was among five deer culled from agricultural fields where they were damaging crops.  One of the adult does that was killed tested positive for CWD.

Two buck deer taken during this year's archery hunt also tested positive for CWD, the Division of Wildlife Resources announced Sept. 17. Both of those deer were taken in eastern Utah. One was taken on Diamond Mountain north of Vernal. The other was taken on the LaSal Mountains east of Moab. Both deer were adult animals, meaning they were at least 2˝ years old. The hunters who took the deer have been notified that the animals they took had CWD.

Utah's first CWD-infected deer was confirmed in February 2003. To date, with four deer in eastern Utah and this new case in Sanpete County, five deer have tested positive for the disease. CWD is fatal to deer and elk that contract it. However, according to the World Health Organization, “There is currently no evidence that CWD in cervidae (deer and elk) is transmitted to humans.”

“Our conservation officers and biologists will take samples in the field from deer taken in 17 units during the upcoming general muzzleloader buck deer hunt,” said Leslie McFarlane, wildlife biologist for the DWR. “We'll also set up check stations during the opening weekend of the general rifle hunt in October to do more monitoring.”

For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.

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Contact: Leslie McFarlane, (801) 560-4461 (cell phone)

Mark Hadley, (801) 538-4737




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