A white-tailed deer at a Iowa hunting preserve tested positive for chronic wasting disease, marking the state’s first detection of the fatal deer disease.
The positive test was verified this week and announced Friday in a news release by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
According to the release, the Davis County facility where the animal was held has been inspected by the DNR and Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to ensure that any remaining deer remain contained. The facility is surrounded by an 8-foot fence. A quarantine has also been issued for the facility.
Iowa has tested 42,557 wild deer and more than 4,000 captive deer and elk as part of the surveillance program since 2002 when CWD was found in Wisconsin, according to the DNR.
Iowa officials plan to increase testing of wild deer in the area by working with hunters and landowners to collect samples from hunter harvested deer beginning this fall.
CWD is a neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose. It is caused by an abnormal protein that affects the brains of infected animals, causing them to lose weight, display abnormal behavior and lose bodily functions.
There is no evidence that CWD can spread to humans, pets or domestic livestock.
CWD was first identified in captive mule deer at a research facility in Colorado in 1967. Before the positive detection in Iowa, CWD had been detected in each bordering state.
Iowa is the 20th state to document CWD in captive and/or free-ranging deer. It has also been found in two Canadian provinces.
Earlier this month, Texas officials announced that state’s first positive CWD findings, in a pair of wild mule deer near the New Mexico border.