Chronic Wasting Takes 200-Mile Leap in Nebraska

Grand Island, NE – Chronic wasting disease was found in several new parts of Wyoming this fall, but it's taken what seems to be a huge leap in Nebraska. A white-tailed deer harvested by a hunter last month near Grand Island, Nebraska tested positive for CWD. The case near Grand Island was confirmed this week after testing by Dr. Beth Williams at the Wyoming State Vet Lab. Nebraska found its first chronic wasting case in 2000 and this marks the eastern-most point where CWD has been discovered. In fact, the disease had never been seen outside of the Nebraska Panhandle, roughly 200 miles from Grand Island. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says it plans to collect and test more deer from around Grand Island to determine how well-established CWD is there. It's important to note that one animal from an area doesn't mean the disease has taken hold, and a recent Wyoming case illustrates that point. Two infected deer were found near Worland in 2003, but none in that area this year. Dr. Williams also says it's not unheard of for white-tailed deer to wander great distances.