year the Alaska Department of Fish and Game asks deer hunters to donate the
heads of their catch so they can be tested for Chronic Wasting Disease. The
disease is not prevalent in Alaska,
but it is a problem the lower 48. Fish and Game is currently conducting a
testing program to monitor for the possible appearance of the disease in Alaska and has a drop
box where people can deposit their deer heads for testing. KMXT's Erik Wander
Vanek is a wildlife biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
-- (Vanek 1 50 sec "We
just started as a pilot program ... disease in AlaskaS.")
said chronic wasting disease, which can affect deer, moose, elk and caribou is not
unlike mad cow disease. She said the dangers the disease poses to wild
populations are crucial to understand.
-- (Vanek 2 52 sec "It's a relative of ... come into
the state at all.")
urged hunters to drop off their deer heads for testing and said keeping the
heads intact can be arranged.
-- (Vanek 3 48 sec "They
can cut off antlers ... that can certainly be arranged.")
Vanek said fish
and game is far short of the number of deer they would like to see tested this
year and would appreciate any deer samples they can get from the end of the
hunting season. Kodiak is the only location in the sate where chronic wasting
disease testing is being conducted. For more information on the deer head drop
box, contact fish and game. I'm Erik Wander.