From the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission on Thursday received results from the last group of deer sampled for chronic wasting disease following the 2002 hunting season, with no new positive results found.

In total, 4,279 deer were tested statewide. Twelve deer tested positive for the disease, and all of those came from three areas in the Panhandle, said Bruce Morrison, assistant wildlife division administrator. No positive results were found in 2,000 deer from areas outside the Panhandle.

“We are very appreciative of all the hunters who assisted us by submitting samples,” Morrison said. “Without them, we would not have been able to do this. And we are very encouraged that we found no positive results outside the Panhandle.”

The Commission will continue to work with landowners in the endemic areas, located in northern Sioux County, western Morrill County and southwest Kimball County, to continue testing and monitoring. Additionally, Commission staff will hold a series of public meetings in the Panhandle to discuss the disease’s history, current status and future plans for testing. The meetings will be held the week of May 5, with locations and times to be announced.

Morrison said the Commission will continue to test animals statewide during the 2003 season, which begins in November.