BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) –– The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Wildlife Division is asking Connecticut hunters to provide them with deer heads to test for a relatively new disease.
DEEP wants to examine the heads for signs of chronic wasting disease, which strikes the brains of deer, moose and elk, WCBS 880’s Fran Schneidau reported.
According to biologist Andrew Labonte, the disease is devastating and always fatal.
“Basically causes the deer to waste away so it affects their brain and their ability to function and they start losing weight, they salivate, they stagger around, it is a really a long-term process,” Labonte said.
Officials are concerned that the disease could cause negative long-term effects to deer herds if it’s allowed to spread.
DEEP says CWD has not yet been detected in Connecticut. The request for the heads was made as a precaution.
According to Labonte, there is no evidence of the disease transferring from deer to humans.
Hunters interested in participating should fill out a Deer Head Collection Tag to accompany their contributions. Arrangements can be made to have the heads picked up by Connecticut Fish and Game officials.
DEEP’s request comes at an opportune time with bow hunting season set to begin on Thursday.
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