A deer tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in Illinois near the Indiana border, prompting intensified surveillance from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
DNR deer research biologist Joe Caudell says biologists will be at popular hunter gathering destinations in Northwest Indiana to collect deer lymph node samples this weekend -- the opening of firearms season.
Providing the samples to the DNR is voluntary, but Caudell says they are an important part of efforts to maintain a healthy the deer population in the state.
“You know, the reason to help us out with surveillance efforts of this type is it’s trying to be a good steward for the resource," Caudell says. "So whenever we are doing disease surveillance, what we are trying to do is better manage the deer population.”
Caudell stresses no CWD positive deer have been found in Indiana.
"So, what we are doing, we are just looking to see if maybe a deer had moved in from one of these other states," Caudell says
The DNR will be collecting samples at a two different locations in northwest Indiana.
Phil's Truck Stop at 3347 S.R. 10, Lake Village and Jay's Deer Processing at 2651 Clifford Road, Valparasio.
Hunters who have their deer tested will be able to look up the test results on DNR's website, but Caudell says the testing takes time.
“It actually takes a while to get the test back from the lab," he says. "So when a hunter checks in their deer they get a 13-digit number, what we call a confirmation number for that deer that they’ve checked it in. They can put in their confirmation number and they can look up the results of their deer.”
The Center for Disease Control says, "there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in people. However, animal studies suggest CWD poses a risk to some types of non-human primates, like monkeys, that eat meat from CWD-infected animals.” The World Health Organization says it's important to keep the disease from entering the human food chain.