BREAKING NEWS One Injured in Shooting in the 1000 Block Of Mississippi Street in New Iberia Full Story

Tests for fatal deer disease qualify for $1k, $500 drawings

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries offers a chance at a gift card for those who bring in the heads of mature bucks killed in the 2021-22 hunting season to be tested for chronic wasting disease. (Marcus Constance/US Forest Service via AP)

Deer hunters across Louisiana can qualify for a $1,000 drawing by having the head of a mature white-tailed buck tested for a slow but always fatal illness called chronic wasting disease.

Posted: Sep 26, 2021 3:46 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Deer hunters across Louisiana can qualify for a $1,000 drawing by having the head of a mature white-tailed buck tested for a slow but always fatal illness called chronic wasting disease.

Taxidermists in the state can do the same for a chance in a $500 drawing — with permission from the hunter who harvested the buck, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said in a news release.

Chronic wasting disease is always fatal in deer, elk or moose, but it can take 16 months to four years for the first symptoms to show up. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says scientists don’t know whether it can infect people, but the agency recommends against eating venison from infected animals.

The disease has not yet been found in Louisiana. But all three neighboring states — Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi — are among at least 26 where it has been found.

The department wants to test deer taken statewide during Louisiana’s 2021-22 hunting seasons.

The tests are free until a region meets its testing quota, said Dr. James LaCour, the state veterinarian.

Heads — with or without antlers and skull cap, but with at least 5 inches (13 centimeters) of neck — can be brought to regional department offices in Hammond, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Minden, Monroe and Pineville, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

A new test that uses a sample taken from a nerve in a deer’s ear and could even be used on live animals is being field-tested in Montana.

Details about preparing samples for the current test are available on the department’s website at https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/cwd-testing.

Details about the drawings are at https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/cwd-contest.

Both drawings will be held March 18. The South Louisiana Branch of the National Deer Association is providing money for the gift cards.

Like mad cow disease and its human counterpart, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease is believed to be caused by malformed proteins called prions that create holes in an infected animal’s brain.

The CDC says scientists have not linked chronic wasting disease infections to consumption of sick deer, elk or moose. However, a Creutzfeldt-Jakob outbreak in Britain in 1992 was linked to eating infected cattle.

The deer disease is spread by contact with infected saliva, blood, urine, feces, food, water, and soil. It can be transmitted from live animals or carcasses. Any deer can be infected, but mature bucks typically have higher infection rates, the department said.

Symptoms include weight loss, excessive salivation, teeth grinding, head tremors, difficulty swallowing, excessive urination and thirst, incoordination, splay leg stance, lowered head and ears, fixed stare, fainting and lack of awareness.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 80°
New Iberia
Partly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 81°
Ville Platte
Partly Cloudy
85° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 84°
Abbeville
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 79°
Crowley
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 80°
St. Martinville
Partly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 81°
Opelousas
Cloudy
85° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 84°
Rain tomorrow, hot weekend on tap

Latest Video

Image

Homecoming Safety

Image

Warmer Temperatures and Humidity Return Today

Image

I'm tracking warmer temps this week

Image

Federal Loan to Boost Economic Growth on Northside of Lafayette

Image

Federal Loan to Boost Economic Growth on Northside

Image

Nice Weather Sticks Around Today

Image

Gofundme for terminally ill toddler

Image

I'm tracking a cold front coming this week

Image

Cold Start to Sunday

Image

Fall Chill Arrives!

Community Events