SALT LAKE CITY — Two more deer taken in Utah during this fall’s general rifle buck deer hunt have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, the Division of Wildlife Resources announced Dec. 4.

Both deer were mature bucks taken on the LaSal Mountains east of Moab. The hunters who took the deer have been notified that the animals they took tested positive for CWD.

DWR biologists took tissue samples from the deer during a sampling effort that was conducted on 17 hunting units during this fall’s deer hunting seasons. “Testing of samples obtained from deer taken during the archery and muzzleloader seasons has been completed, but we’re still waiting for final results from the rifle hunt,” said Leslie McFarlane, wildlife biologist for the DWR. “We should have those results by the end of December.”

Since February 2003, a total of eight deer in Utah have tested positive for CWD. Five of those deer were killed in the LaSal Mountains, two were taken near Vernal and one was killed near Fountain Green in central Utah.

CWD attacks the central nervous system of deer and elk and is fatal to animals that contract it. However, according to the World Health Organization, “There is currently no evidence that CWD in cervidae [deer and elk] is transmitted to humans.”