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LDWF makes Chronic Wasting Disease testing service available to hunters

Courtesy MGN Online
Posted at 8:32 PM, Oct 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-19 21:32:20-04

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries had coordinated with Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine to provide a Chronic Wasting Disease testing service for Louisiana residents.

According to the LDWF, hunters wanting to have their deer tested for CWD should complete a new form detailing the specific location where they harvested a deer and then submit tissue from the animal to the nearest LDWF field office.

The test will alert hunters to whether or not their harvested deer was detected for CWD.

Officials say that there have been no cases of the disease found in Louisiana, but are using the test as another tool to monitor CWD as they work to keep it from entering the state.

LDWF secretary Jack Montoucet said the test "will help to give our deer hunters peace of mind."

According to the release, CWD is a "neurodegenerative disease found in most deer species, including Louisiana's native white-tailed deer. It is infectious, always fatal, and there is no treatment. It's part of a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and is similar to BSE (mad cow disease) in cattle and scrapie in sheep. These diseases cause irreversible damage to brain tissue, which leads to excessive salivation, neurological symptoms, emaciation and death of the animal."

There is no evidence that the disease has infected humans, but the CDC encourages those handling venison to exercise caution.

More information and instructions can be found here.

Read the full release from LDWF here.