N. Carolina bans import of deer & elk

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May 20, 2002

Wildlife Commission bans import of elk, deer

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- The state Wildlife Resources Commission has banned the import of elk and deer until federal officials can assure the animals haven't been exposed to chronic wasting disease in the past five years.

The commission also agreed to restrict the movement of commercially raised deer within the state.

Chronic wasting disease, which causes the animals to gradually lose weight and die, has shown up in captive elk herds in six states and two Canadian provinces and in free-ranging wild deer and elk herds in five states and Saskatchewan.

The only test for the disease requires the examination of the brain tissues of dead animals.

Wildlife Commission biologists and veterinarians say the state's deer herds would have to be eliminated in thousands of acres where it is found. Wisconsin state officials plan to kill the estimated 15,000 deer in a 287-square mile area where 14 deer have been found with the disease.

The outbreak is the first east of the Mississippi River.
 


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