Sales banned at facility where disease found in captive deer

(Texas Parks and Wildlife Department)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — No white-tailed deer can be bought or sold at a facility where the first case of chronic wasting disease in a Texas white-tailed deer was found, a state official said Thursday.

The case involving a 2-year-old white-tailed deer at a Medina County breeding facility was confirmed by a federal lab in Iowa earlier this week, Texas Animal Health Commission spokeswoman Kyle McNulty said.

“This place deals with selling and buying a lot,” she said of the operation where there are as many as 100 white-tailed deer.

The disease was first detected in Texas in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer in far West Texas. This is the first time the disease has been found in a white-tailed deer in Texas.

In this case, breeder facilities that received deer from the Medina County facility or shipped deer to that facility during the last two years cannot move or release deer.

Animal health officials are working to trace all the animals that have left the facility, McNulty said.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department also has prohibited the release into the wild of captive deer from all breeder facilities pending further review.

The disease is caused by proteins believed to be spread through deer urine, saliva and feces.

It has been found in deer in 23 states and two Canadian provinces since first being recognized in Colorado in 1967.

There is no strong evidence that the disease can be transmitted to humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since 2002, Texas officials have done surveillance throughout the state for the disease. More than 34,000 samples have been collected from hunter-harvested and road kill deer and tested.

Medina County is just west of San Antonio.

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