Concern spreads as fatal deer disease inches toward Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS — Hunters and state officials are concerned about the threat of chronic wasting disease among Indiana’s wild deer as the fatal disease creeps closer to the state’s borders.

The Indianapolis Star reports that deer infected with chronic wasting disease have been found in Michigan and Illinois, within 30 miles (50 kilometers) of the Indiana border.

Indiana Deer Hunter’s Association president Joe Bacon says the highly contagious disease cannot be stopped from entering the state, only slowed down.

Hunters in some border areas have been asked to have their harvested deer tested for the disease that attacks their neurological system, leading to emaciation and death.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources veterinarian Nancy Boedeker predicts CWD could arrive next year. She says testing would become mandatory if the disease is detected in Indiana.

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