Kasey Dresser| November 25, 2019
Chronic wasting disease is a highly contagious disease fatal to deer, elk, and other cervids. Similar to Mad Cow, the disease is caused by an abnormal protein called a prion. A contaminated animal will show no symptoms of chronic wasting disease until around 18 months and will die shortly after showing symptoms.
On the Van Buren County Farms in Southeast Iowa, two white-tail deer were confirmed to have contracted chronic wasting disease. The Iowa Department of Agriculture is working to find the contaminant source and contain it. The farms will be prevented from accepting deer, elk or moose for five years.
Chronic wasting disease has been confirmed in four other Iowa Counties including, Allamakee, Clayton, Dubuque, and Wayne. The disease has also been very prevalent in neighboring states, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Hunters are encouraged to bring their deer to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to have the animals tested for chronic wasting disease.