Iowa DNR wants to prevent spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in deer

 

“We have a spark here, and we want to put it out before it becomes a fire”

Orlan Love, The Gazette

February 17, 2015 | 9:29 pm

HARPERS FERRY — An unprecedented special deer hunt will likely be conducted near here in the coming weeks to gather tissue samples for additional testing for the always-fatal chronic wasting disease.

“We have a spark here, and we want to put it out before it becomes a fire,” Dale Garner, chief of the Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Bureau, told more than 100 people gathered here Tuesday in the community center.

A similar audience gathered for a second status report last night in Waukon.

Following the state’s first CWD-positive test in a wild deer in 2013, three more were confirmed during the recently concluded deer season — all within a 5-mile radius near Harpers Ferry.

Those three positives made up about 1 percent of the 309 samples collected within that area.

Garner said he believes the infected deer crossed the Mississippi River from Wisconsin, where more than 2,800 infected deer have been confirmed since 2001.

The disease is still spreading in Wisconsin, where biologists estimate that more than 35 percent of male whitetails and more than 18 percent of females are infected, according to Garner.

“Doing nothing is an option, but you know what’s going to happen here if you do nothing,” he said.

Garner said DNR biologists want to collect additional samples from a 31-square-mile target area generally west of Harpers Ferry. About one-third of the target area lies within the Yellow River State Forest.

“We need to pinpoint the scope of the problem. That information will help us determine the next step, if a next step becomes necessary,” he said.

The tissue samples required to diagnose chronic wasting disease cannot be extracted from live animals.

During a public input session, hunters, landowners and other residents expressed approval of a proposal to harvest and collect samples from 150 to 200 deer, possibly starting within a week.

Though details have yet to be finalized, Garner said scientific collector permits would be issued to participants.

It would be “tightly controlled initiative,” said Jim Jansen, the DNR’s northeast Iowa wildlife supervisor.

Dick Riese, a Postville veterinarian and deer hunter, said the proposal “is a good start.”

“This is a serious situation. It’s here, and it’s going to keep spreading unless we do something about it,” Riese said.

 

Posted in Chronic Wasting Disease, Deer, Disease, Species Management | Comments Off

Kelly Hepler Selected As GFP Secretary

Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today he has selected Kelly Hepler to serve as the next secretary of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP). Hepler currently serves as assistant commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG), a position he has held since 2010.

“I’m thrilled Kelly has agreed to serve as our next secretary of Game, Fish and Parks and happy that we could help bring him back to South Dakota,” said Gov. Daugaard. “His wealth of knowledge and experience in handling complex issues will make him a real asset to our team.”  Continue reading

Posted in News | Comments Off

Bill would remove federal protections for wolves in 4 states

By STEVE KARNOWSKI

January 13, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Several members of Congress are preparing legislation to take gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming off the endangered list in an attempt to undo court decisions that have blocked the states from allowing wolf hunting and trapping for sport and predator control. Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Species Management, Wildlife Legislation, Wolves | Comments Off

Experimental vaccine partially successful at preventing CWD in deer

deer cwd story 12-23-14

Journal Sentinel files

In a scientific milestone that could have human health implications, an experimental vaccine was partially successful at preventing chronic wasting disease in deer, according to a recently published U.S. study.

By Paul A. Smith of the Journal Sentinel

Dec. 23, 2014

In a scientific milestone that could have human health implications, an experimental vaccine was partially successful at preventing chronic wasting disease in deer, according to a recently published U.S. study.

The finding represents the first time a treatment has prevented the deadly prion infection in deer. Continue reading

Posted in Chronic Wasting Disease, Deer, Disease | Comments Off

Wisconsin DNR working on deal to get elk from Kentucky

Elk bull

 

Journal Sentinel files

 

By Paul A. Smith of the Journal Sentinel

Dec. 17, 2014

 

An agreement to transfer 150 elk from Kentucky to Wisconsin is imminent, a top Kentucky wildlife official said Wednesday.

“We are in the final stages,” said Karen Waldrop, deputy commissioner at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, in a phone interview. “I expect everything to be in place very shortly so the next phases of work can begin.” Continue reading

Posted in Deer, Species Management | Comments Off