Chronic wasting disease spreading through deer

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- A disease affecting deer around the nation is spreading and now Kentucky wildlife officials need help from area hunters.

It’s called chronic wasting disease. It’s an infection caused by abnormal proteins in deer, elk, moose and caribou. While it hasn’t been detected in Kentucky, it has been found in six of the seven states that border the Commonwealth.

According to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, deer and elk hunting contribute around $550 million to Kentucky’s economy each year.

States have shown a 10% drop in hunter participation ever since the infection was detected.

Alvin Yoder from Yoder’s Specialty Meats in Rockfield said he’s glad CWD isn’t a huge issue in Kentucky, and he’s hoping it doesn’t become one.

“The first I remember, it started up in Wisconsin in the north area. They eradicated a bunch of the herd because they didn’t want it to spread. It’s not out of hand, but it could get that way if they don’t keep after it,” Yoder said.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife encourages hunters or anyone to report deer or elk that may be sick by calling 1-800-858-1549.