Effort underway to test hunted Iowa deer for disease

Dozens of tissue samples from hunted deer in Iowa have been turned over to be tested for chronic wasting disease.

The samples are part of a nine-day collection effort by deer hunters and state officials that ends Sunday. The first weekend of the effort in Allamakee and Clayton counties provided 54 samples.

Chronic wasting disease is a neurologic disease of deer, moose and elk that is always fatal for the animals.

The disease first appeared in Iowa’s wild deer herd in 2013 and each year since. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has placed extra emphasis on tracking the movement of the disease with the cooperation of hunters.

Last year, two deer tested positive for the disease as part of the effort in the same counties.