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By NewsDEsk  @bactiman63

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) reported that a white-tailed doe found killed in Libby, MT in the northwest corner of the state, tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

Fawn whitetail deer. Image/Lynn Betts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

This is the first time CWD has been detected in the wild, west of the Continental Divide in Montana.

CWD is a progressive, fatal disease affecting the nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. It is part of a group of diseases called Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). TSEs are caused by infectious, mis-folded prion proteins, which cause normal prion proteins throughout a healthy animal’s body to mis-fold, resulting in organ damage and eventual death.

CWD is a slow-moving disease. However, left unmanaged, it could result in long-term population declines within affected herds. All the states and provinces that border Montana, other than Idaho and British Columbia, have found CWD in their wild cervids.

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CWD was first found in wild deer in Montana in October 2017.

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