Concerns growing over Chronic Wasting Disease in Colorado wildlife

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DENVER — The Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife is addressing worries about Chronic Wasting Disease found in mule deer and elk in the state.

“Once an animal is infected it’s an always fatal disease,” Travis Duncan of the Colorado Parks Department said. “There’s no real way of telling just by looking at an animal whether it has CWD or not.”

The department has created a CWD Advisory Group to tackle the problem; its members, including the Department of Agriculture and hunters, have had five public meetings over the past year while putting together a management plan.

“There has been no evidence that is has infected humans. But it is a concern. It could eventually jump the species barrier, we don’t know,” Duncan said. “The science is pretty new about CWD.”

The state will have required testing in various management units across the state. Hunters in those areas will be notified they need to bring in animals for testing.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has more information on CWD on its website.

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