Iowa captive deer may undergo mandatory CWD testing


Mar 11, 2001
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Testing of captive deer herds passes first hurdle in Iowa


SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Natural Resources Commission has approved proposed regulations for transporting deer in and out of Iowa and creating a mandatory Chronic Wasting Disease monitoring program.

Under the proposal, monitoring for CWD will be mandatory for game breeders and shooting preserves that want to buy, sell or trade deer in Iowa.

All deer that die or are killed over six months of age must be submitted for testing for disease, which has infected deer in Wisconsin.

Deer infected with Chronic Wasting Disease lose weight until they die. Symptoms include poor body condition, tremors, stumbling, increased salivation, difficulty swallowing, and excessive thirst or urination.

CWD is a disease in a family of illnesses which include mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and scrapie, which can infect sheep.

There is no evidence that the disease can be passed to humans by eating meat of an infected animal, according to the World Health Organization. However, the group advises against eating venison from infected animals.

The new rules will allow game breeders and shooting preserves to attain disease-free status through the monitoring requirements over a period of time, according to Iowa Department of Natural Resources officials.

The rules on monitoring are not final yet. The commission is accepting public comment. A July 30 public hearing is scheduled at the Wallace State Office building in Des Moines.

Last month, the commission approved a moratorium until Sept. 1 on bringing deer into Iowa. That rule requires any new game breeder or shooting preserve liced after May 9 to buy their deer from within the state of Iowa until May 9, 2003.

The rule also outlines requirements for hunters who hunt in other states or provinces where CWD has been confirmed. It prohibits hunters from transporting whole carcasses into Iowa.

Only meat that has had all bones removed, the cape and antlers can be brought into Iowa.

Antlers may be attached to a clean skull plate from which all brain tissue has been removed.

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