Wild Ohio deer tests positive for chronic wasting disease

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COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife has identified a positive test for chronic wasting disease in a wild Ohio white-tailed deer in Wyandot County.

The division of wildlife is gathering additional details about the adult male deer taken by a hunter on private property. Tissue samples were submitted for testing by a taxidermist, and the positive test was identified after results were obtained Dec. 10.

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer and other similar species, including mule deer, elk and moose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no strong evidence that chronic wasting disease is transmissible to humans.

The division of wildlife will implement its chronic wasting disease response plan, which includes enhanced surveillance within a 10-mile radius of the chronic wasting disease positive deer location in Wyandot County.

Mandatory deer disease sample collection will occur on all remaining Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area controlled hunts. Hunters who harvest a deer in Wyandot County during the remaining deer hunting season, which closes Feb. 7, 2021, will be contacted to obtain disease samples by division of wildlife staff.

The division of wildlife has conducted routine surveillance for chronic wasting disease since 2002, testing more than 25,000 deer without finding a chronic wasting disease positive deer in the wild herd. Chronic wasting disease has previously been detected at captive deer breeding facilities in Ohio.

Find more information about Ohio’s chronic wasting disease surveillance at wildohio.gov. Hunters should take precautions when handling and processing any harvested deer. Hunters may have a harvested deer tested at the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory for a small fee. Call 614-728-6220 for more information.

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