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Second deer suspected of testing positive for CWD in Libby

Posted at 4:34 PM, Jun 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-15 18:34:52-04

KALISPELL – State wildlife officials report a sample from a second white-tailed deer in Libby is suspected positive for chronic wasting disease.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks was notified of the suspect sample on June 14 and was tested at the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Confirmation of the sample is expected in the next week, according to FWP.

The sample was collected from a white-tailed buck that appeared symptomatic and was removed inside city limits near the site of the first detection.

A sample from an additional deer collected outside of city limits was also submitted and no evidence of CWD was detected.

This is the second detection of CWD in a white-tailed deer in Libby.

The first detection, which occurred in late May and involved a doe that died inside city limits, marked the first time that CWD was detected west of the Continental Divide in the wild. CWD was confirmed in the first detection.

FWP, the Libby Police Department and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office are responding to reports of deer that appear sick and removing the animals for sampling, according to a news release.

People in the Libby area who see a deer that appears to be sick are asked to call (406) 291-6539 and leave a message.

FWP is working closely with the City of Libby and Lincoln County to develop a CWD surveillance plan, according to FWP spokesman Dillon Tabish.

In accordance with FWP’s CWD response plan, FWP formed an Incident Command Team involving FWP staff from Libby, Kalispell, Bozeman and Helena to respond to the situation.

Every resident and/or landowner within 20 miles of Libby is receiving a letter about the detection as well as FWP’s probable management actions moving forward. Additional public meetings will be announced and held in Libby, Kalispell and elsewhere in northwest Montana this summer.

Click here to learn more about CWD.

Mark Thorsell – MTN News