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SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is hosting a public meeting to discuss chronic wasting disease and a new, enhanced monitoring effort on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at the Sergeant Bluff Community Center, 903 Topaz Drive, in Sergeant Bluff. The meeting is scheduled from 6-8 p.m.
Woodbury County is part of a new chronic wasting disease zone after a road killed wild deer tested positive for the always fatal disease. Doug Chafa, local wildlife management biologist for the Iowa DNR, is coordinating the meeting.
“We will discuss the increased surveillance effort here in Woodbury County as well as our focus along the Missouri River and will provide hunters and landowners an opportunity to get their questions answered and to discuss their concerns with our staff,” Chafa said.
The Iowa DNR will present information on CWD and inform the public about surveillance sampling effort.
There are several things hunters can do to stop or slow the spread of CWD, Chafa said, including not using feed or salt-mineral to congregate deer. Bringing infected and susceptible deer into close contact can increase the rate at which the disease is spread.
“Deer hunting is an important tradition and, for some, a large part of their identity. It is also important to us and we need to work together to combat this disease. Our goal is to provide quality deer hunting for future generations,” he said.
CWD 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 and elk causing the animals to lose weight, display abnormal behavior, lose body functions and die. It is always fatal to the infected animal.
The Iowa DNR has more information about CWD and other infectious disease online at www.iowadnr.gov/cwd.
Any person attending the public meeting that 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.