State offers free deer wasting disease testing

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Chronic Wasting Disease is a deadly illness in white-tailed deer and other members of the deer family. CWD can take years to infect an animal to the point of it showing symptoms including excessive salivation, drooping head/ears, tremors, emaciation and changes in behavior such as a lack of fear of humans and a lack of coordination. A person can’t tell if an animal has CWD until symptoms show during the final stages of the disease.

In time for the opening of firearms fall deer season this weekend, Missouri Department of Conservation is offering free, voluntary Chronic wasting disease sampling and testing of deer harvested anywhere in Missouri throughout the season at MDC regional offices during regular business hours and through participating taxidermists and meat processors within the CWD Management Zone.

While MDC requires mandatory testing in some counties as a result of chronic wasting disease being found in local deer populations, testing is not mandated for deer harvested in Clay County.

To learn about sampling locations, visit mdc.mo.gov/cwd and click on “Voluntary CWD Sampling Statewide All Season” on the left side page menu.

Before sampling

Before having a deer sampled for chronic wasting disease, the MDC recommends several steps:

Field dressing and Telechecking deer before arrival at a sampling station.

Bringing the carcass or the head with at least six inches of the neck attached.

Capes be removed in preparation for taxidermy.

The testing station will require the person who harvested the deer to be present. In addition, the hunter’s conservation number will be required, along with specific location of harvest.

“If using a paper permit, have it detached from the deer for easy access,” states a release. “If using the MO Hunting app, have permit and Telecheck information available. Position deer in vehicles with heads and necks easily accessible.”

Test results

Test results for CWD-sampled deer will be available online at mdc.mo.gov/CWDTestResults. Results are free and will be available within four weeks.