A deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Marshall County, Iowa, for the first time, pushing the state total to 260 CWD-positive deer in 16 counties since 2013.
In a news release, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said that tissue from the road-killed buck was collected in mid-June in Marshall County, in the west-central part of the state.
Two public meetings slated
The DNR has scheduled two public meetings in Baxter and Wellsburg on CWD surveillance and management in Jasper, Marshall, and Grundy counties. At a minimum, the DNR said, the tissue-collection goal will increase in Marshall County from 15 to 20 deer to 100 or more in the coming year.
"Our hunters are an important partner in managing and monitoring for this disease," DNR wildlife biologist Steve Woodruff said in the release. "Hunters provide the tissue samples we need to determine to what extent the disease is on the landscape in Marshall County and elsewhere in Iowa."
Our hunters are an important partner in managing and monitoring for this disease.
Woodruff added that DNR staff will contact hunters to arrange for tissue collection after the hunting season starts.
CWD is a fatal neurodegenerative prion disease caused by infectious prions, or misfolded proteins, that affects cervids such as deer, elk, and moose. The disease creates cavities in the brain that resemble those of sponges, causing the animal to lose weight, behave abnormally, and lose body functions. While CWD isn't known to infect humans, some experts fear it could jump species.