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Chronic Wasting Disease found in Tennessee deer: What hunters should know

(EPA / WZTV)

The Chronic Wasting Disease response plan is in action as the disease was discovered in 10 Tennessee deer.

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), seven deer in Fayette County and three deer in Hardeman County tested positive for the disease.

Chronic wasting disease attacks the nervous systems of deer and elk and leads to death. There's no treatment or vaccine for the disease. It's in the family of "rare progressive neurodegenerative disorders that affect both humans and animals."

There is no evidence to suggest the disease poses a risk to humans or domestic animals. It is transmitted through animal-to-animal contact, animal contact with a contaminated environment, and with contaminated feed or water sources. It is the most significant threat to the deer population nationwide, as it is 100 percent fatal to deer and elk.

Wildlife officials have placed restrictions on the transport of deer from Tennessee into Kentucky in response to the detection of CWD.

“Hunters are our biggest ally in managing chronic wasting disease in Tennessee if it is confirmed here,” said Dr. Dan Grove, Wildlife Veterinarian, University of Tennessee Extension. “Besides submitting deer from the to-be-defined CWD Zone, the most important thing everyone needs to do is follow the regulations for moving harvested deer.


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