Sanpete County Deer Tests Positive for CWD

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Today, The Division of Wildlife Resources identified yet another Utah deer infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD). This deer was located during a depredation effort in the Central Region, near Fountain Green in Sanpete County. Five deer were culled from agricultural fields where they were doing crop damage, but only one adult doe was determined to test positive for CWD. This is the first infected animal identified in central Utah.

Two buck deer taken in Utah during this year's archery hunt tested positive for CWD, the Division of Wildlife Resources announced Sept. 17. Both of those deer were taken in eastern Utah. One was taken on Diamond Mountain north of Vernal. The other was taken on the LaSal Mountains east of Moab. Both deer were adult animals, meaning they were at least 2 1/2 years old. The hunters who took the deer have been notified that the animals they took had CWD.

Utah's first CWD-infected deer was confirmed in February 2003. To date, with four deer in eastern Utah and this new case in Sanpete County, five deer have tested positive for the disease. CWD is fatal to deer and elk that contract it. However, according to the World Health Organization, "There is currently no evidence that CWD in cervidae (deer and elk) is transmitted to humans."

"Our conservation officers and biologists will take samples in the field from deer taken in 17 units during the buck deer hunts," notes, Leslie McFarlane, wildlife biologist for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "We'll set up check stations during the opening weekend of the general rifle hunt in October to do more monitoring."