CWD has been confirmed in Salt Lake County for the first time. Three deer were found dead and one sick deer was euthanized near North Salt Lake and Bountiful. Samples were gathered from these deer and sent to the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in April. The results confirmed the fears of the Utah Divison of Wildlife.

CWD was first detected in mule deer in Utah in 2002 in northeastern Utah. Prior to these tests, it was only found in Sanpete, Duchesne, Uintah, Davis, San Juan, Grand, and Carbon counties. Now Salt Lake County is added to the list. However, as of June 16, 26 deer have tested positive for CWD this year. Currently, 157 mule deer and 3 elk have tested positive for CWD in Utah. Transmission may occur directly through contact with an infected animal or indirectly through environmental contamination. (A dead carcass can contaminate the soil.) Prions are extremely resilient in the environment and can stay infectious for years.

“This disease, unfortunately, does appear to be spreading in Utah, and we will continue to do extensive monitoring to stay on top of the disease and its prevalence in the state” – ¬†DWR State Wildlife Veterinarian Ginger Stout

The Utah DWR sets up monitoring checkpoints on all hunting units in the state. This is in order to test the deer harvested in that area to sample the deer populations for CWD.

Currently, the CDC says the risk to humans is extremely low. However, they recommend not consuming meat from animals infected with CWD.

The Utah DWR asks the public to report any deer that appear sick. You can report these deer to the nearest DWR office. A list of offices can be found by clicking here.

You can read more about Utah hunting-related news by clicking here.

So, what are your thoughts about CWD being found in Salt Lake County? Have you taken an animal that has tested positive for CWD before? Let us know in the comments!


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