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Texas parks officials warn hunters to look for signs of chronic wasting disease in deer

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Posted at 1:48 PM, Jan 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-04 14:48:20-05

Texas Parks and Wildlife is warning hunters and landowners to be on the lookout for signs of chronic wasting disease in white-tailed and mule deer. 

The department said recent tests confirmed the disease was found in deer in Medina, Dallam, Hartley, Hudspeth and El Paso Counties.

"The discoveries underscore the importance for aggressive detection, sampling and herd management to control the spread of CWD," the department said in a news release.

Each of the confirmations happened in a county where chronic wasting disease had previously been detected.

Texas Parks and Wildlife said in 2018, there were 49 cases of chronic wasting disease confirmed in permitted breeder facilities and eight cases confirmed in animals taken outside a breeder facility or related release site.

Hunters who harvest mule, white-tailed, red or sika deer and elk within the Trans-Pecos, Panhandle and South-Central Texas chronic wasting disease containment and surveillance zones are required to bring the animal to a Texas Parks and Wildlife check station within 48 hours.

The department also asks hunters who take a deer outside of a chronic wasting disease containment or surveillance zone to help by sending voluntary samples. You can contact your local Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist or bring the animal to any of the department's check station around the state to do so.

“We are very appreciative of the effort and cooperation that has been put forth by the vast majority of landowners, hunters and local officials across the state,” said Carter Smith, TPWD Executive Director. “Our ability to control the spread of this fatal disease is directly related to the cooperation offered by many, especially landowners and hunters, and we pledge to continue to work with everyone to minimize the impacts of this disease.”

Texas Parks and Wildlife also asks hunters to report any sick looking mule, white-tailed, red, or sika deer and elk while hunting by contacting a department biologist or Texas game warden.

For more information about the disease, click here.

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