The start of the deer hunting season also means the start of testing deer tissue samples for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Every state that borders Iowa has confirmed cases of Chronic Wasting Disease – a fatal disease that affects deer, elk and moose by altering proteins, which leads to the formation of small holes in the infected animal’s brain.
The DNR hopes to collect 4,500 samples during the hunting season from the harvested deer of willing farmers.
Although there is no evidence that humans can contract the disease, the National Institute of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that hunters do not eat the deer’s brain, eyeballs, or spinal cord, and wear protective gloves while working with deer carcasses.
For more information, see the Iowa DNR press release here.