The Idaho Fish and Games Commissioner will meet on Monday to consider the next steps after the discovery of chronic wasting disease (a deadly and contagious disease that affects deer, elks, and moose) near Lucille.
The Idaho Fish Games Department set up a check station on Friday near Stites on US Highway 95 and State Highway 13 near Cottonwood and New Meadows. A station where you can test animals. Hunters may also bring animals to a local office for testing. Head and / or removed lymph nodes are required to detect the disease. Meat alone cannot detect the disease.
Two mule deer killed on public land in the Slate Creek drainage channel last month were positive for a previously unrecorded disease in Idaho that infected herds in 25 other states and several Canadian provinces. rice field.
Diseases of the same family as mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease can significantly reduce the number of deer, elk, and elk, raising potential health concerns for hunters. Although it is not documented to infect humans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you do not eat the meat of sick animals.
On Monday, the Fish and Games Commission will consider designating a chronic wasting disease management zone, setting up emergency hunting to facilitate additional testing of animals in the area, and establishing a chronic wasting disease monitoring zone.
Don Ebert, the fish and game commissioner representing the Clearwater region, recommends hunters to inspect animals.
“I think sportsmen will help us a lot,” he said. “We need to know where it is and how much it is.”
Toby Boudreau, head of the authorities’ Wildlife Service in Boise, said the surveillance zone could include units 11A, 13, 14, 15, 18, 23. When established, authorities will place particular emphasis on collecting samples from these units.
The controlled area will be smaller, but there are legal restrictions such as prohibiting the removal of carcasses or certain parts of deer, elks and mousses from the area. Exceptions are cut and wrapped meat, quarter or watered meat without brain or spinal cord tissue, brain-free edible organs, headless skin, upper dogs, taxidermy completion, dry horns. , And a washed and dried skull or skull cap. ..
The disease is thought to be caused and spread by a misfolded protein known as a prion. Studies show that prions can survive in the environment for 2 to 16 years. To prevent spread, the agency has already asked Unit 14 hunters to quarrel the animals and leave their heads and spines in the fields. If desired, hunters can hold their heads to check stations or go to local offices for testing and disposal.
Boudreau said hunting may be designated for further surveillance activities and includes agencies working with hunters to ensure that samples represent animals of different ages and both males and females. He said it was likely to happen. It will require that all animals taken to hunt be tested and hunters record the exact location of their killings.
“I want to collect enough samples to say statistically about what’s happening, but I don’t want to kill more deer than necessary,” he said. “We are confident that we can do that with the help of the general public.”
Authorities were able to collect samples from about 30 animals at a check station near New Medows on Friday, Boudreau said.
Brian Brooks, Managing Director of Boise’s Federation of Idaho Wildlife, urges members of the Idaho State Assembly delegation to support the D-WI Rep. Ron Kind-sponsored Chronic Wasting Disease Research Management Act. I am. The bill will be used to distribute approximately $ 70 million annually to the states where the disease is present and to fund both management activities and disease research designed to mitigate the outbreak of CWD. Brooks said passing the bill would provide the coveted financial support.
“If we want to maintain herd and sporting opportunities, it costs tens of millions of dollars a year. Idaho doesn’t have the money we need.”
The offices of Idaho Republicans Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher did not answer questions about the bill on Friday.
The Wildlife Federation has also called on the Legislature to step up CWD tests on Elk farms in the state and provide fences high enough to prevent animals from escaping and wildlife from entering the enclosure. increase.
Former Moscow-born fish and game commissioner Dan Blanco will hold a public meeting on CWD as soon as possible for current committees and agencies to ensure that testing is widely available and free. I asked for action.
On Friday, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife added Idaho to the list of states and states that cannot import deer, elk, and moose carcasses. Watered meat is an exception. Skull and antlers; Antlers attached to the skull plate; Upper canines with all soft tissue removed. Hide without a head or attach a cape. Finished taxidermy.
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