Chronic wasting disease detected in deer near Sioux City

Local News

The Iowa DNR is placing deer disease surveillance priority on Woodbury County.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is monitoring part of Woodbury County after a deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD).

A road-killed deer was found on the south side of Sioux City, and initial results showed a ‘high likelihood” that CWD was present. A tissue sample was sent for a follow up test.

“We are going forward with our surveillance plan based on the presumption that the follow-up test will be positive,” said Todd Bishop, chief of the DNR Wildlife Bureau.

If confirmed, Woodbury County would become the fifth Iowa county where a wild deer has tested positive for CWD.

CWD is a slowly progressive disease affecting primarily deer and elk and is alway fatal. The disease affects the brain and causes weight loss, loss of bodily functions, and abnormal behavior in the animals.

A priority zone extending 10 miles around where the deer was collected in Woodbury County has been established by the DNR. A map and more information is available by clicking here.

Any hunters who harvest a deer in the priority zone or outside the zone in western Woodbury County are asked to contact the DNR at 712-420-5584 to arrange for a collection of a sample.

“We will be looking to collect additional samples from hunter harvested and road killed deer but, at this point, we are not planning to increase the number of deer harvested in the area as the local herd density is at or below our population goals,” Bishop said.

CWD was first found in Allamakee County in 2013. It was later found in Clayton, Dubuque, and Wayne counties. For 2019 so far, the disease was found in Allamakee and Wayne counties and presumably in Woodbury County.

The Iowa DNR recommends hunters not leaving deer carcasses out and not using feed or salt-mineral to attract deer to help slow the spread of CWD.

Signs of CWD are excessive salivation, thirst and urination, loss of appetite, weight loss, listlessness and drooping ears and head. Anyone that sees the signs are asked to immediately contact the DNR.

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