Fourteen cases of chronic wasting disease were found in deer and elk tested by the state Department of Game, Fish & Parks in the second half of 2007.

The infected animals — 13 deer and one elk — were from southwest South Dakota, where all of the state’s CWD cases have been found since testing began.

Chronic wasting disease attacks the brain of infected animals and is always fatal. It’s been found in the wild in more than a half-dozen states.

The 2,305 samples tested from July 1-Dec. 31 last year came from animals killed by hunters, from sick animals observed in the wild, and from animals killed by vehicles.

Eight CWD cases were from Fall River County, four from Pennington County, and two from Custer County. The GF&P also has been testing some samples from deer in Grant and Deuel counties in eastern South Dakota because a CWD-infected deer was discovered at a farm in Minnesota.

Seventy-two cases of chronic wasting disease have been found in 17,188 deer and elk that have been tested in South Dakota since 1997.

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