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Chronic Wasting Disease Found in Far West Texas Mule Deer

Michael Smith/Newsmakers

Deer Hunters in far West Texas are being warned by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department of chronic wasting disease.  Two mule deer near the New Mexico border have been confirmed positive for the disease.  The Texas Animal Health Commission along with the TPWD are implementing deer sample collections from that region to see how wide spread the disease may be.  The two positive deer were both taken from the Hueco Mountains in northern El Paso.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is part of a group of diseases that also include mad cow disease and scrapie in sheep. There is currently no vaccine or cure for the disease.  However, it is not felt that the disease is wide spread but at this time deer and other animals from that area are being restricted in their movements by humans and also mandatory deer hunter check stations will be enforced.

The disease can live dormant in the animals for some time before ever showing outward signs of infection which include, listlessness, weight loss, and lack of responsiveness among others.

At this time management, monitoring and testing are the best ways to keep the disease contained.

While this isn’t anything to be overly concerned with at this time it is something to be aware of, I know many hunters like to head to West Texas as well as New Mexico because of the great hunting in those areas.  The animals are large and beautiful and any hunter would be happy to have one but not at the price of it being infected.

To find out more information about the disease you can check the TPWD website.



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