The Missouri Department of Conservation collected more than 19,000 samples from deer killed in Northeast, East central and central Missouri last weekend.
Hunters in 29 Missouri counties were required to bring harvested deer to department-run stations and have their lymph nodes sampled during the opening weekend of the November firearms season. The lymph nodes were collected and sent to a lab to be tested for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Results are expected to take 4-6 weeks.
CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects deer across 29 counties in Missouri. It can be spread through deer to deer contact, or from contaminated sources in the environment. It slowly deteriorates the brain and nervous system. As of now, it hasn’t been proven harmful to humans.
Robert Hemmelgarn, a representative of the Missouri Department of Conservation, said the research and testing would be hard to do without hunter cooperation.