Cheyenne County Fairgrounds site of Feb. 2 informational discussion.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks will conduct an informational meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 2 at the Cheyenne County Fairgrounds in St. Francis. KDWP and Kansas Animal Health Department officials will discuss the occurrence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a deer taken by a hunter in Cheyenne County during the 2005 firearms deer season.

Department and cooperating agency staff will provide more information on CWD, outline strategies to monitor the disease in Kansas, and answer questions from meeting participants.

On Jan. 23rd, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa notified KDWP that it had verified the preliminary lab test, which was positive for Kansas’ first occurrence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a wild deer.

CWD has been documented in ten states. The disease attacks the central nervous system of infected animals, and is within a group of similar diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE). While CWD can spread among deer and elk, it is not known to transmit to humans, livestock, or other animals. Since 1996, KDWP biologists have annually collected tissue samples from deer taken by Kansas hunters, to monitor deer herd health.

The department will post updated information on its website as further sampling and evaluation occurs. Contact Bob Mathews at KDWP’s Pratt office (620/672-5911) for more information. More information on chronic wasting disease is also available on the Internet.

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