Colorado Kills Over 400 Deer
And Elk In Effort To Stop CWD

By Dave Buchanan
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

A weeklong project in southwestern Routt County aimed at stopping the spread of chronic wasting disease on the Western Slope ended late Friday with 420 deer and elk having been killed, said Todd Malmsbury, a spokesman for the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
"We finished late today and we feel we were very successful in getting as many animals as possible that might have been exposed to chronic wasting disease," Malmsbury said. "We wanted to finish the culling operation prior to the start of the spring migration, and today the animals started to move toward their summer ranges."
The culling effort was started Monday after five wild deer were diagnosed as positive for the fatal brain disease that affects elk and deer. There were 136 elk and 284 deer killed in the operation, Malmsbury said.
As many as 40 DOW and U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services personnel were active in the project along with volunteers from several hunting and sportsmen organizations.
The animals that were killed were taken to a central processing area where they were beheaded. There is no live test for CWD; it only can be found by inspecting the brains of infected animals.
It's still unknown how the disease, which causes lesions and eats microscopic holes in the brains of its victims, made its way across the Continental Divide. Prior to the discovery of the disease along the Williams Fork River drainage, the ailment was supposedly contained to an endemic area in northeastern Col- orado and southwest Wyoming.
Malmsbury said the success of the culling project hinged on the cooperation of local ranchers.
"We greatly appreciate their efforts to get us onto their land," Malmsbury said. "The entire community in northwestern Colorado was very supportive of our project and what we were trying to accomplish."
Malmsbury said the heads will be tested for CWD at a lab at Colorado State University with results expected in about two weeks.
No other culling is planned, although later this summer the division may sell some special hunting licenses for the area where CWD was found, Malmsbury said.
Dave Buchanan can be reached via e-mail at dbuchanan@gjds. com. © 2002 Cox Newspapers, Inc.

Email This Article


This Site Served by TheHostPros