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Chronic wasting disease identified in captive cervid in NE Kansas

Elk showing symptoms of chronic wasting disease, photo
Elk showing symptoms of chronic wasting disease, photo(Associated Press)
Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 5:04 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Kansas Department of Agriculture has confirmed a case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a captive cervid herd in Osage County, Kansas.

The CWD-infected animal was born and raised on the premises in Osage County where it was tested after being euthanized in late June. The affected premises have been placed under quarantine, and tracing and surveillance are underway on all animals which have moved into or out of this captive cervid herd in the last five years.

The department of agriculture is now working with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) to mitigate risk to the captive cervid industry as well as the local wild deer population in the area.

CWD has been detected in wild deer populations in many western Kansas counties, but this is the first documented positive case in eastern Kansas and the first in a captive herd since 2001.

CWD is an infectious, degenerative disease of animals in the family cervidae (elk, deer, and moose) that impacts the animal’s brain cells, ultimately causing death. Only animals in the family cervidae are susceptible to CWD. Currently, there is no evidence that CWD poses a threat to humans.

KDWPT will conduct additional surveillance of CWD in Osage County as part of the agency’s annual testing of wild deer taken during hunting seasons, and through a three-year, statewide research project set to begin this fall.

Owners of captive cervid herds in Kansas are encouraged to participate in KDA’s CWD Herd Certification Program.

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