The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

December 15, 2012

Chronic wasting disease not found in wild deer

BLOOMFIELD — Though a second case of chronic wasting disease has now been found in area deer, officials say CWD still hasn’t spilled into the wild.

Multiple cases had been discovered in Iowa; the first sign of Chronic Wasting Disease was at a hunting preserve in Davis County this summer.

However, that animal was traced back to a deer-breeding facility in Cerro Gordo County. Currently, the Cerro Gordo facility is quarantined — no animals can leave. There are now three Iowa deer “livestock” raising or hunting operations that have been found to have a deer infected with chronic wasting disease, including one in Davis County.

The 330-acre Pine Ridge Hunting Lodge in Davis County has an eight-foot high fence, an electric fence inside that fence and has routine inspections conducted by the DNR to ensure the integrity of the barriers so that “no deer are coming or going from the area,” according to a press statement from the DNR.

“Has anyone told the deer that?” asked one man at a public meeting in Ottumwa this past October.

He said the animals can and do leap fences, Hunters say that’s what they worry about: An infected deer in a controlled area could pass the disease to the wild population. Some outdoors enthusiasts suggest eradicating the suspect herds.

That’s not going to happen at this point.

“In Wisconsin, to depopulate a herd [through litigation] took five years,” said Chuck Gipp, director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources . “We’ve learned from the surrounding states. This is private property. When you bring in the lawyers, it takes longer. It costs more. We’re hopeful we will [get this resolved] more quickly by working with the landowner.”  

The diseased deer are not currently considered a threat to human beings, pets, livestock or any species of animal other than  moose, elk and deer.

Those deer, healthy or diseased, are private property. And they are on private property. The law does not permit the government to come on someone’s land and take or destroy legally owned property.

What is chronic wasting disease in deer?

.The DNR says CWD is caused by an abnormal protein that affects the brains of infected animals, causing them to lose weight, display abnormal behavior and lose bodily functions.

Stephen Moline, an Iowa Department of Agriculture division director who spoke recently in Ottumwa, said so far, no evidence has shown a cross contamination from deer to cow or deer to human.

CWD is very contagious, with even nose-to-nose contact discouraged between quarantined animals and the wild population.

In fact, with deer, it’s easier. Those “salt blocks” some nature lovers put out are a danger. An infected deer licks the salt block, followed by a healthy deer. Every deer enjoying that salt block could end up infected.

Dumping an infected carcass improperly can also spread the wasting disease more quickly.

Hunters in the area around Davis County can have their deer tested in order to help the DNR control the spread of the illness. Contact your local DNR office.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0418 OTT Five Things logo -T -L -M Five things to do in southeast Iowa this weekend OTTUMWA — It's a weekend of Easter celebrations, historic events and educational opportunities in southeast Iowa. Many people are gathered together this weekend, and the surrounding communities have scheduled events perfect for the whole family. 1. S

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Joe Tafta bw photo -L -T -M Pursuing opportunities OTTUMWA — Joe Tafta follows the rules. The Simpson College junior hopes to be a U.S. marshal one day, so he’s careful about what he says and does. But not always. On the afternoon of April 1, Tafta says, he nearly got booted out of Dunn Library for m

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0418 OTT OEDC director -T Guiding our growth OTTUMWA — An organization designed to help Ottumwa grow has found a new employee in Indiana. The Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) board has chosen Sharon Stroh as the group's new executive director. “We are confident she will hit the g

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0417 OTT Earth day color photo 1 -T -M Cargill celebrates Earth Day by educating ALBIA — In honor of Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22, employees from Cargill Eddyville and Cargill Pork are visiting with students at Grant Elementary and Lincoln Center in Albia all this week. On Wednesday the Courier caught up with them as they went

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0417 OTT Saving Center color photo -T -L -M Hedrick building has friends HEDRICK — The community wants a civic center, and they've been willing to work for it. "I'd say we have 15 to 25 volunteers each time," Tommy Smith of Hedrick said. "These are all good people." Smith was volunteering his services at the Easter Brunch

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Southern Iowa farmers preparing for planting OTTUMWA — Even though the winter seemed to linger like Iowa was going through an ice age and cold and wet weather has highlighted the early spring, farmers are starting to get out to their fields to put down fertilizer and get fields ready for planti

    April 16, 2014

  • 0417 OTT Camp Wapello fence photo -T -M -L Good fence irritates good neighbor DRAKESVILLE — For 82 years, Camp Wapello’s iconic entryway has welcomed people to peacefully coexist with nature. Now there’s a 400-foot barbed wire fence down the middle of the road. In February, Davis County Supervisors approved vacating of portion

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Carrying bookbags a balancing act OTTUMWA — Permission slips. Notes from teachers. School activity announcements, birthday invitations, report cards and homework to sign. Kids bring home a lot of stuff. But is it done fairly? The school board this week was asked by ranking members of

    April 16, 2014

  • Van Buren supervisors deny hog confinement permit application KEOSAUQUA — A proposed swine building in Chequest Township didn’t receive a seal of approval from Van Buren County Board of Supervisors. Supervisors voted Monday to recommend to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to deny the permit. Supervisor

    April 16, 2014

  • 0417 OTT Beth Howard bw cover -L -T -M 'Ms. American Pie' tours with her new book ELDON — With many hours and countless miles on her RV "The Beast," Eldon's pie lady, Beth Howard, is celebrating the release of her new book with a tour of southwestern states. Howard's second book, "Ms. American Pie: Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bol

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition