Montana officials detect new case of chronic wasting disease


BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Montana officials found signs of chronic wasting disease in a white-tailed deer north of Bozeman.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced Tuesday that the animal was suspected of carrying the fatal wildlife disease, The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported.

The male deer was killed earlier this month after it displayed common symptoms of the disease, including a skinny and weak appearance, the department said.

The deer’s symptoms were the first indication of the disease in Gallatin County, but its arrival seemed inevitable to those who have tracked the disease over the past few years.

Chronic wasting disease affects the nervous systems of deer, elk and moose and is spread through direct contact between the animals. The illness was first detected in Montana in 2017, officials said.

The disease does not appear to infect humans, but federal health officials advise against eating meat from infected animals.

About 7,000 animals were tested during the last hunting season and the disease appeared in places that were distant from previously confirmed sources.

“After last year, we shouldn’t be surprised when CWD shows up anywhere in Montana,” said Nick Gevock, conservation director for the Montana Wildlife Federation.