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CWD Tests of Iowa Deer will be Delayed

By Dar Danielson (Radio Iowa), December 14, 2017

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the testing of deer tissue samples for Chronic Wasting Disease is being delayed by a lack of test kits.

DNR spokesman Mick Klemesrud says they seen delays in a couple of areas. “The labs that have the kits — like Colorado State that does have some — are getting inundated by other places that are trying to get their samples tested as well, so that’s kind of slowing it down there, a bottleneck out there. And then Iowa State is waiting for a supply of kits,” Klemesrud says. “These kits are made in France and they are kind of getting held up in customs. So, we are hoping that get shook loose and we can get the testing results done sometime in January.”

He says the delay won’t impact the test results. “The samples will be fine, they are all being refrigerated or frozen, so they will be good to go as soon as the kits become available. All we need to do is get them in country and then we’ll start cranking through the samples,” Klemesrud says.

The state will collect more than 1,200 samples from hunters to test by the time the deer season is over. They take samples from every county and take extra samples from Clayton and Allamakee counties where there have been some positive tests in wild deer. Klemesrud says Nebraska has had some positive samples recently, so they will focus on that border and others.

He says they are increasing samples taken along the Missouri River, in northeast Iowa along the Minnesota border. Cerro Gordo and Davis County in southern Iowa as it has shown up in Missouri. “We’re watching the spots where it is likely to show up.” Klemesrud says they’ve talked with hunters about the testing delay.

“What we tell hunters is, if we test their meat and they want to know the test results they are certainly welcome to them, and if they have any concerns they can hold the meat in their freezer and wait until the test results come back,” he says, “if not they can just process it just like normal.” Klemesrud says the odds of you having a deer test positive for CWD are very low.

“We had a hundred and one thousand deer harvested last year and just a handful of positives — so the likelihood that it would be a positive are pretty remote,” according to Klemesrud. The final shotgun deer season wraps up this weekend.

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