checked for disease
Platte County was the first of 30 randomly chosen counties
in Missouri to test deer for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)
by the Missouri Conservation Department.
The Conservation Department collected 200 deer heads
that were donated by hunters who brought their deer to
a check station in Platte City on Saturday and Sunday.
Hunters were asked to voluntarily donate the heads of
their deer for later testing by a federally approved laboratory.
Hunters were able to keep the antlers from bucks.
Chronic Wasting Disease belongs to a class of diseases
known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSFs).
Scrapie, which affects sheep and has been documented since
the 1700s, is probably the most familiar of these diseases.
Like other TSEs, CWD destroys nerve cells. The brain becomes
sponge-like over time as nerve cells are affected. The
disease is presumed to be fatal to deer and elk. At this
time, this disease is not infectious to humans and no
cases of the disease have been found in Missouri.
Areas where CWD has been found are Nebraska, New Mexico,
South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The department is hoping to collect over 6,000 deer heads
in Missouri to monitor the disease, which is rare and
serious. More information can be found by visiting www.conservation.state.mo.us.