CRAWFORD COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission confirmed that multiple deer have turned up positive for chronic wasting disease across the Natural State.
The most recent cases come from Randolph, Crawford, Franklin and Van Buren Counties.
The Crawford County deer was harvested near Cedarville, the Franklin County deer was taken near Charleston, the Randolph County deer near Dalton and the Van Buren County deer was sampled near Alread.
According to Cory Gray, chief of the AGFC’s Research Division, the hunters who harvested the deer have been notified.
Hunters who wish to have their deer tested for CWD can voluntarily take the head of the deer, with 6 inches of neck still attached, to one of the AGFC’s network of participating taxidermists to have a sample tested for free.
They also may drop off the head at one of more than 100 CWD-testing collection stations positioned throughout the state. A list of CWD-testing facilities is available at www.agfc.com/cwd.
According to the AGFC, research indicates that CWD is caused by a misfolded protein called a prion transmitted through feces, urine, and saliva. Prions can survive for years in soil and plants.
CWD can have an incubation period of at least 16 months, which means infected animals may not show immediate signs of disease. CWD prions accumulate throughout the body and affect an animal’s nervous system.
The diseased prions cause normal cellular proteins to misfold into abnormal shapes, which accumulate until neural cells cease to function.
Infected animals begin to lose weight, lose their appetite and develop an insatiable thirst. They may separate from their herds, walk in repetitive patterns, carry their head low, salivate, urinate frequently and grind their teeth.