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Some deer urine lures now legal again in Louisiana

Posted at 10:25 AM, Jul 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-06 13:30:26-04

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Louisiana has modified its ban on urine-scented lures used to attract deer, legalizing those that are certified free of the malformed protein that causes chronic wasting disease and meet a second standard.

A quick, reasonably priced test can now determine which urine-based products are free of the disease, which is always fatal. The disease-free products must also be certified by the Archery Trade Association Deer Protection Program, officials said.

The procedure, called real-time quaking-induced conversion , was developed in 2011 to multiply the malformed proteins that cause the human infection called Creutzfelt-Jacob disease so that labs could detect the prions and diagnose the ailment. One form is caused by eating meat from cattle infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, often called mad cow disease.

No companies are currently using the procedure but a representative from Tink's, one of the biggest, told state regulators that it plans to do so, deer program manager Johnathan Bordelon said Wednesday.

"The reg in this case is ahead of the industry, but there are plans from the industry to meet the requirements," Bordelon said, adding that Louisiana is the first state to require the test.

Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is a highly infectious disease spread by prions, which can be present in an infected deer's saliva, feces, urine, blood, and antler velvet for a year or two before symptoms show. It has been found in most kinds of deer and related species, including moose, elk, mule deer, and white-tailed deer, and in 26 states including Texas, Mississippi, and Arkansas - the three bordering Louisiana.

There is no federal regulation on deer urine lures, which use urine from bucks to attract does and urine from does to lure bucks. There are two kinds of lures made from urine of female deer - "doe-in-rut" and non-estrous. Some 4-ounce bottles sell online for $11 to $15.

Bordelon said synthetics have been available for some time and have remained legal in Louisiana, since there's no chance they could spread CWD.

At least a dozen other states - Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, Tennessee, Michigan, Montana, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Virginia - have banned or restricted urine-based lures, Bordelon said. Pennsylvania bars them only in areas where infected deer have been found. Bordelon said Alabama, Montana, Michigan, and Tennessee require lures bearing the Archery Trade Association's certification: the group's logo with a check mark under it.

The trade group has listed 28 companies enrolled in the program.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission passed its new rule Monday as an emergency declaration so it will apply when the 2019-20 deer hunting seasons open in the fall.

It banned all urine lures last August , saying they might carry prions that cause CWD.

The lures are made by collecting captive animals' urine through grates. The agency said that allows mixing with saliva and feces, which typically hold more prions than urine.

According to the Archery Trade Association website , participants in its Deer Protection Program must have only deer that have tested negative for the disease for at least five years, cannot bring in new deer or elk, and must double-fence their land if CWD is known to be anywhere near.