Wasting disease spreading in Iowa, Dane counties

  • Associated Press
  • February 26, 2014 - 9:10 AM

MADISON, Wis. — Chronic wasting disease continues to spread among deer in Iowa and western Dane counties.

One in four male adult deer has CWD in those areas, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The prevalence rate of about 25 percent is based on 2013 test results in a management zone where the disease was first discovered more than a decade ago, the DNR said. That's more than double the figure of 2002, when 8 percent to 10 percent of adult males had the disease, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported ( ).

A year ago, the prevalence rate in the zone west of Madison was about 20 percent in adult male deer, but the DNR said year-to-year comparisons are difficult because the annual sampling isn't necessarily the same.

But conservation officials say the trend is clear. The rate of infection is rising and it's higher in male adult deer.

David Clausen of Amery, a veterinarian who recently served on the Natural Resources Board, wants the DNR to take a more aggressive role in trying to control CWD.

Clausen expects the prevalence of the disease to increase and spread if "people choose to ignore reality," he said, and disregard efforts to reduce the deer population to help control the disease.

The fatal disease has been found in 18 counties of Wisconsin but is concentrated in two zones, an area west of Madison and another in Rock and Walworth counties and northern Illinois. CWD was detected for the first time in 2002 in Wisconsin.

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