deer hunting season florida zone c

Fatal Chronic Wasting Disease In Florida Deer, Limited To One Case

deer hunting season florida zone c
Deer In Florida (File)

After a deer killed in June in Holmes County tested positive for a contagious fatal disease, it remains the only detected case in the state, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Executive Director Roger Young said Wednesday.

But for now, the commission will continue to test deer for chronic wasting disease. The effort includes an “enhanced surveillance zone” in Holmes, Jackson and Washington counties, where deer must be tested before being processed for food or going to taxidermists.

“We have more than 1,000 samples collected from within the enhanced surveillance zone that have been tested with no additional positive cases,” Young said during a commission meeting in Tallahassee. “So, from 1,000 tests from this past season and before, we still only have one positive (chronic wasting disease) case, which is great news.”

Read: Polk County Has First Confirmed Rabies Case Of 2024 After Diseased Bat Found In Lakeland

Young said a meeting is planned for April to outline “potential future management actions.” The disease is described as similar to mad cow disease, with deer becoming emaciated and often being found isolated and trembling.

While not considered harmful to people, the disease can result in death to deer within four months. The positive test in June was the first known case of a deer in Florida having the disease, which has been found in 30 other states including Alabama and Mississippi.

With no simple treatment or vaccine for chronic wasting disease, deer farmers have expressed concern that a single positive test could require the eradication of entire herds, which in some cases represent millions of dollars in investments.

Read: Florida Fishing: A Paradise For Anglers

Florida has monitored the issue since 2002. In 2021, the state placed certain limits on importing deer carcasses into Florida. People can bring in deboned meat, finished taxidermy mounts and clean hides and antlers.

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