November 23, 2013 at 1:17 am #1114MikeKeymaster
This is bad news for me and Boo. The Arizona desert is being built up so fast that Boo had even mentioned putting in for a NM hunting tag. And Las Cruces is only 9 hours away from me. Agh! ~Rocky
CWD Spreads To Elk
In New Mexico
From Terry S Singeltary Sr
Source: NM Press Release
Hello Jeff – Now we have the first elk to test positive for CWD in New Mexico. Elk, for the most part, are solitary animals which might have become infected via environmental infection. — Patty
Two elk killed in the southern Sacramento Mountains of south east New Mexico have tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), the Department of Game and Fish announced. The animals were the first elk in New Mexico to test positive for CWD since the disease was first discovered in mule deer in 2002.
Both CWD-afflicted elk were killed in an area 10 to 15 miles southeast of Cloudcroft in Game Management Unit 34, the same general area where the state’s most recent case of CWD was detected in a mule deer. One of the elk — a mature male — was taken on 3 Oct 2005 by a hunter and showed no symptoms of the disease. The other elk — a yearling female — was in very poor condition and unable to stand when a Department of Game and Fish conservation officer found it 1 Oct 2005. Testing and verification of the samples required about 2 months. Future testing is expected to occur more quickly as the Department of Game and Fish and the Veterinary Diagnostic Services in the New Mexico Department of Agriculture further implement recently achieved in-state CWD testing capabilities.
“The range in which the disease is found appears to be expanding, so finding it in more animals in that area is not surprising,” said Kerry Mower, the department’s lead wildlife disease biologist. “But it is disappointing to find our first cases of CWD in free-ranging elk.”
Brain stem samples from the 2 elk were among more than 100 taken from deer and elk in Unit 34 this year and sent to the Veterinary Diagnostic Services Laboratory in Albuquerque. The Albuquerque laboratory’s “presumptive positive” samples from the 2 elk were confirmed as CWD-positive by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.
“We will continue our efforts to monitor the disease by actively testing animals in Units 34 and 19,” Mower said. “We also encourage all hunters statewide to submit their animals for testing.” The department personally informs hunters if the tests are positive. Hunters will be able to see the complete list of test results as they become available on the department website: <http>.
This season, hunters who kill animals in a “control area” of Unit 34 are required to submit their animals for testing and observe special regulations affecting which body parts of a deer or elk can be removed from the unit. Hunting seasons continue in that area into January. Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological illness that afflicts deer, elk and moose. There is no evidence of CWD being transmitted to humans or livestock. The disease causes animals to become emaciated, display abnormal behavior, and lose control of bodily functions. To date, it has been found in captive and wild deer, elk, and moose in 8 states and 2 Canadian provinces.
The origin of CWD in New Mexico is unknown. It has been found in 12 wild deer and 2 wild elk since 2002, when the disease was first discovered east of Las Cruces. All of the CWD-positive deer and elk in New Mexico were from the southern Sacramento Mountains southeast of Cloudcroft and areas surrounding the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces.
Patricia A. Doyle, DVM, PhD- Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics
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