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Archive for Sunday, April 29, 2007

No sign of CWD in Kansas tests

April 29, 2007

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Chronic wasting disease tests during Kansas deer hunting seasons were negative.

Wildlife and Parks collected nearly 3,000 samples during the fall of 2006 and in January, and no traces of CWD were detected.

Although the majority of specimens had been submitted to Kansas State University for testing in December, problems at the K-State Diagnostic Lab slowed results. University officials say they have addressed the issue and will deliver more timely results next year.

CWD has been detected twice in Kansas. The first case, in a Harper County captive elk herd, occurred in 2001. That elk came from a private elk farm in Colorado.

Although that herd has been destroyed, Wildlife and Parks still tests as many free-ranging animals in that area as possible. The other case of CWD was detected during the 2005 hunting season in a free-ranging white-tailed doe harvested in Cheyenne County, bordering Colorado and Nebraska.

"In a stepped-up surveillance effort, Kansas sampled the highest number of deer in its history this last season," state official Ruby Mosher said. "Due to the large number of animals tested, we are confident that an occurrence of CWD in Kansas would be very rare at this time."

Wildlife and Parks will send the results of its testing to all meat lockers, taxidermists and other contractors who collected samples and information for the agency.

In addition, the agency plans to continue CWD testing throughout the summer. These samples will come from vehicle-killed animals and those culled from the herd due to illness or injury.

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