The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) has confirmed that two legally harvested bull moose from northern Colorado have tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). A moose killed in game management unit (GMU) 7, a few miles southeast of Glendevey, was the second CWD-positive moose diagnosed in Colorado in 2006. This moose was harvested and submitted for testing in October 2006. This unit is northeast of the unit where Colorado’s first positive moose was harvested last year. Another moose harvested from GMU 6 in October also tested positive; this unit is within the same population unit as last year’s case. CWD is a fatal neurological disease that has been diagnosed in wild deer and elk in ten states and two Canadian provinces. Animals show no apparent signs of illness throughout much of disease course. In terminal stages of CWD, animals typically are emaciated and display abnormal behavior. CWD was diagnosed in testing completed by the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic lab. CWD testing for moose was made mandatory in Colorado in 2003 to aid Division biologists in monitoring this species for evidence of CWD. Since 2002, 528 moose have been tested, resulting in three positives to date. CWD has been found in portions of northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming for more than two decades. State and federal health officials have found no connection between CWD and any human illness. As a precaution, however, hunters are advised not to eat meat from diseased animals.
Hunters who submit infected animals for testing are contacted and given the choice of having their license fee refunded or receiving a replacement license for the same game management unit. They also receive a refund for the cost of reasonable processing.
Hunters may submit animals for testing at DOW offices around the state and at the offices of some veterinarians. For a complete list of submission sites and for more information about testing and chronic wasting disease, visit the DOW Web site at http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/BigGame/CWD/
The Colorado Division of Wildlife is the state agency responsible for managing wildlife and its habitat, as well as providing wildlife related recreation. The Division is funded through hunting and fishing license fees, federal grants and Colorado Lottery proceeds through Great Outdoors Colorado.