State testing confirms 10th wild deer with CWD

February 1, 2002 Omaha World-Herald by Larry Porter
A third mule deer killed by a hunter in Nebraska has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

It was learned Thursday that a 16- to 18-month-old doe, killed last November in southern Cheyenne County about 12 miles southeast of Sidney, had CWD. The two mule deer killed earlier by hunters and found to have CWD were taken in Kimball County, one in 2000 and one in 2001. Another mule deer killed in Kimball County last year by a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission official during a culling operation also was found to have CWD.

Bruce Morrison, assistant chief of the commission's wildlife division, said the latest positive test came from among 200 brain stems for which tests were recently completed.

A total of 805 brain stems were collected by Game and Parks officials during last year's hunting season. So far, there have been two positives from among 403 deer tested. Another 402 brain stems remain to be tested.

CWD has now been confirmed in 10 wild deer killed in Nebraska.

The commission's culling operation is still under way in northern Sioux County, where six wild deer - five whitetails and a mule deer - have tested positive for CWD in an area around a game ranch in which the disease has been found in captive elk and whitetails.

The first positive result from a wild deer killed in Cheyenne County was not totally unexpected.

"We know now that the disease extends a little farther east than was previously known," Morrison said. "But this deer was killed within four miles of the Colorado border, and Colorado has found the disease in that area."

The commission does not plan to cull deer in Cheyenne County at this point, Morrison said.

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