Chronic wasting disease has been discovered for the first time in deer taken in southeastern Nebraska.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reports four cases in deer killed by hunters in Thayer, Saline, Cass, and Polk Counties.
The disease was discovered at the Southeast District deer check stations during the 2016 November firearm deer season.
Game and Parks reports there were 753 deer sampled in three deer management units: Wahoo, Blue Northwest and Blue Southeast. No extensive sampling for CWD had taken place in these units until 2016.
Biologist discovered the first case of CWD in Nebraska in 2000 in Kimball County. CWD has been found in 34 Nebraska counties. No deer population declines have been attributed to CWD.
CWD is prion disease that attacks the brain of an infected deer and elk, eventually causing emaciation, listlessness, excessive salivation and death, according to Game and Parks.
Hunters can help prevent the spread of the disease by properly disposing of the carcass.
To learn more about CWD click here.