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Deer with CWD

A white-tailed deer showing symptoms of chronic wasting disease, including drooling, is shown in this undated file photo. 

LIBBY — Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is hosting a public meeting in Libby on Tuesday, June 11, to discuss chronic wasting disease.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. inside the Ponderosa Room at Libby City Hall, 952 E. Spruce St.

FWP staff members will present information and answer questions about CWD and explain how the department is working with local agencies to respond to the recent discovery of CWD in a white-tailed deer inside the city limits.

In accordance with FWP’s CWD response plan, an incident command team has been assembled to respond to the detection. The team is working closely with local officials, and FWP staff presented to the Libby City Council at the June 3 meeting in City Hall.

For people in the Libby area who see a deer that appears to be sick, call 406- 291-6539 and leave a message with your name, number, the location of the animal and the time you saw it. FWP and Libby City Police are working together to respond to these reports.

CWD is a progressive, always fatal disease affecting the nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. There is no known transmission of CWD to humans or other animals, including pets or livestock. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that hunters harvesting a deer, elk, or moose from an area where CWD is known to be present have their animal tested for CWD prior to consuming the meat, and to not consume the meat if the animal tests positive.

CWD was found among wild deer in Montana in 2017. These prions are found throughout bodily tissues and secretions and are shed into the environment before and after death. When other animals come in contact with the prions, either from infected animals or from contaminated environments, they can be infected. The disease is slow acting, degenerative, and always fatal. The name comes from the appearance of symptomatic animals, which get very skinny and sick-looking before they die.

For more information about CWD, visit FWP’s website, fwp.mt.gov, and click the “CWD” tab.

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