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Chronic wasting disease found in Marshall County deer

  • 8/1/2023 12:04:00 PM
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A tissue sample collected in mid-June from a road killed adult buck deer in Marshall County has tested positive for chronic wasting disease. With the addition of Marshall County, 260 deer have tested positive in 16 Iowa counties since 2013.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has scheduled two meetings to update the public on chronic wasting disease surveillance and management efforts in Jasper, Marshall and Grundy counties.

Meetings are scheduled for:

  • Baxter, Aug. 29, 7 p.m., Baxter Public Library, 202 E State Street
  • Wellsburg, Oct. 10, 7 p.m., Wellsburg Memorial Building, 501 N Adams Street

“Hunters and landowners play vital roles in the successful management of this disease in Iowa,” said Tyler Harms, biometrician for the Iowa DNR. “These meetings are an opportunity for local hunters, landowners, and citizens to learn more about chronic wasting disease, what the DNR is doing to monitor and manage the disease in Iowa, and, most importantly, to ask questions.”

At a minimum, Harms said the tissue collection goal will be increased in Marshall County from the current 15-20 deer samples to 100 or more in the coming year.

“Our hunters are an important partner in managing and monitoring for this disease,” said Steve Woodruff, wildlife biologist with the Iowa DNR’s Iowa River Wildlife Unit. “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.”

Local DNR staff will be reaching out to hunters to arrange for sample collection as the seasons get underway, Woodruff said.

Chronic wasting disease is a neurological disease belonging to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases. It attacks the brain of infected deer causing the animal to lose weight, display abnormal behavior, lose body functions and die. It is always fatal to the infected animal.

To learn more about chronic wasting disease, including the DNR surveillance and management efforts, visit https://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/Deer-Hunting/Deer-Health/Chronic-Wasting-Disease

Any person attending the public meeting and has special requirements such as those related to mobility or hearing impairments should contact the DNR or ADA Coordinator at 515-725-8200, Relay Iowa TTY Service 800-735-7942, or Webmaster@dnr.iowa.gov, and advise of specific needs.

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