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Deer outside management zone in state tests positive for CWD

by The Associated Press | December 22, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.
FILE — A deer suffering from chronic wasting disease.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission on Friday conformed that a white-tailed deer killed near Waldron in Scott County tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

The buck was confirmed as CWD-positive by the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Madison on Friday. A taxidermist obtained the sample.

Although Scott County is outside the commission's chronic wasting disease management zone, Jenn Ballard, the commission's state wildlife veterinarian, said that deer-hunting regulations will not change in Scott County for the remainder of the 2018-19 deer hunting season.

"We will evaluate the need for any expansion of the CWD Management Zone during the regular hunting regulations-setting process once the season is over," Ballard said. "Changing the regulations mid-season would not be fair to hunters."

The CWD management zone includes Benton, Boone, Carroll, Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Logan, Madison, Marion, Newton, Pope, Searcy, Sebastian, Van Buren, Washington and Yell counties.

Ballard said the Scott County case is indicative of how the disease can slowly spread under normal circumstances.

"We know bucks tend to carry a higher prevalence of the disease than does, and we know bucks can disperse long distances, potentially moving the disease across the landscape," Ballard said. "That is why we have partnered with taxidermists to help us collect samples as a free service to hunters."

Hunters who wish to have their deer tested for CWD can voluntarily take the head of the deer with about 6 inches of neck still attached to one of the AGFC's network of participating taxidermists to have a sample tested for free. They may also drop the head off at one of dozens of CWD-testing collection stations positioned throughout the state. Visit for a list of testing locations.


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