More than 70 deer put down after chronic wasting disease found - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

More than 70 deer put down after chronic wasting disease found

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(KWWL) -

More than 70 deer are being put down today at a Hazelton deer farm after chronic wasting disease was found in December. 

Chronic wasting disease was detected in a dead deer at the farm back in December. Today, hazmat crews are at the farm to euthanize all of the deer there as a precaution.

The disease can wipe out deer populations. It attacks the brain of the deer, causing it to act strangely and lose bodily function. There is no evidence that CWD can spread to humans, pets or domestic livestock.

 It's also tough to test for, the only way is by testing brain material of dead deer.

Dustin Vande Hoef of the Iowa Department of Agriculture says. "There have been some cases of the disease in wild deer in Iowa, but we are certainly trying to limit that and not have it impact our deer population."

Vande Hoef says once the disease is found on a farm, the animals are quarantined until the owner reaches an agreement with the USDA. Then, crews go to the site and euthanize the animals. 

Chronic wasting disease was first identified in captive mule deer at a research facility in Colorado in 1967.

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