Alliance, Neb. – Game and Parks Commission biologists killed 26 deer east of Alliance last week as part of their continuing efforts to monitor chronic wasting disease (CWD) in western Nebraska, according to Gary Schlichtemeier, district wildlife manager at the commissions district office in Alliance.
Schlichtemeier said “The recent culling operation follows the finding of 18 CWD positive deer from 2,500 samples collected in the Panhandle during the 2003-2004 deer seasons, including four positive deer east of Alliance. Another positive was collected in late January south of Hay Springs by conservation officer Heath Packett.”
“The area we sampled east of Alliance has a high concentration of deer. Research indicates a high deer density increases the risk of spreading the disease. Our surveillance efforts were successful due to the excellent cooperation of the landowners in that area,” Schlichtemeier said.
Commission employees harvested 18 adult mule deer, four female fawns, and four male mule deer fawns. Lymph nodes were taken for CWD testing, along with blood samples which will be tested for other diseases. Test results are expected in about three weeks.
“There is currently no scientific evidence that CWD has or can spread to humans or livestock,” Schlichtemeier added. “Nebraskas landowners and deer hunters continue to play a key role in our efforts to determine the presence and prevalence of CWD in all parts of the state. The deer collected east of Alliance will provide scientific data for evaluation of the disease and its effect on our deer population.”
For more information on CWD, contact the Game and Parks Commission, Box 725, East Highway 2, Alliance, NE 69301 (308) 763-2940, or the Commissions web site at www.outdoornebraska.org.