CLEAR LAKE, Iowa – A local herd of deer has fallen victim to a fatal disease.
Conservation officers with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have been working to stop the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) for a number of years. This disease impacts elk, moose and deer, and it can spread rapidly, if it is not taken care of.
Officials with the Iowa DNR, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service worked to terminate this small population infected by the disease. They carried out their plan on Monday morning at the farm, and Dustin Vande Hoef with the Iowa Dept. of Agriculture says, while it’s sad to see these animals go, it’s important for the rest of the deer population in the area.
“The main concern is for the wild white tailed deer herd.” he explains, “It could have an impact on them, since it is contained, we are trying to make sure it doesn’t get into the wild.” He tells us that the farm had been quarantined since June of 2013, and that this task was a long time coming.
Both the Iowa and Minnesota DNR officers will be conducting CWD testing this fall during the deer season. They are asking hunters to bring carcasses, or samples of the deer to their facility so that it can be tested for the disease.