Chronic Wasting Disease Puts Va. Hunters On Alert

September 30, 2010

It's called Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), and the first ever deer in Virginia was found with the disease last year.

CWD impacts the brain and nervous system of a deer, causing staggering, drooling and confusion in the animal, that ultimately ends in death.

Currently, there is not a cure for CWD. However, the disease has not been known to transfer to humans or household animals.

Officials with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries are now asking hunters to handle deer carcasses differently this hunting season, so they can further study the disease.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Deer Project Coordinator Nelson Lafon says, "The whole reason that we are asking hunters bring in deer to have sampled, is because we want to see if there is more of this disease out there. So far we have found one positive, but we are going to keep our eyes open just like we have every year since 2005."

A meeting will be held Thursday night, about how having a case of CWD in Virginia will impact hunting and other activities in the region.

"If hunters wouldn't have brought deer to our check stations, we wouldn't have found this disease last year. The quicker we find it, the better chance we have to contain it," said Lafon.

That meeting will take place Thursday from 7-9 p.m. at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School in Woodstock.

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