CWD found again in southwestern ND hunting unit

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A second deer killed during the 2013 hunting season in western Grant County has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

It is the fifth deer killed in the 3F2 hunting unit to test positive for CWD in five years. Infected deer also were killed in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

CWD affects the nervous system of members of the deer family and is always fatal. Game and Fish has been monitoring for it since 2002 through samples taken from hunter-harvested deer. The initial test on the latest deer was done at Michigan State University and the results are being confirmed by a national lab in Ames, Iowa.

Officials have said the positive tests in recent years are not a major cause for concern because they have all been in the same area. Officials speculated that the first infected deer might have come from South Dakota, where CWD already was present. The 3F2 hunting unit borders South Dakota.

The state Game and Fish Department earlier implemented hunter restrictions in 3F2 to try to prevent the spread of CWD to deer in other parts of the state. Hunters can’t transport a carcass containing the head and spinal column outside of the unit unless it is taken directly to a meat processor. If a hunter processes the deer in the field and wants to leave the head behind, it must be legally tagged and its location documented. A baiting ban also is in place.

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