Chronic Wasting Disease Case Confirmed In Farmed Oklahoma Elk

Thursday, April 25th 2019, 8:30 am

A disease that can have devastating effects on deer and elk herds has been found in Oklahoma.

This is the second confirmed case of Chronic Wasting Disease in Oklahoma and the first in 21 years.

Both have been from elk breeding farms with the most recent in Lincoln County.

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife say after a 2-year-old bull elk died on the farm this month, it tested positive for CWD.

CWD is a neurological disease that affects the brains of elk and deer.

It's always fatal with no vaccine or treatment available. It spreads when animals are in close contact, but also through soil that contains protein particles from urine, feces, saliva or an infected animal's carcass.

The farm and a nearby breeding facility are both under quarantine; and breeders can't take deer or elk out of the state or bring them in.

The Wildlife Department says it's going to start testing wild deer in the area near the farm.

While CWD exists in wild deer and in elk in every state surrounding Oklahoma, it's never been found in wild herds here.

The Wildlife Department and the Department of Agriculture are putting together an emergency plan to monitor and protect wild and farmed deer and elk in Oklahoma. 

It's also important to note, CWD does not effect humans and has never been documented in livestock, like cattle.

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