The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have tabled a proposal they hope will aid in their fight against chronic wasting disease. After recording 90 cases of the debilitative disease so far this year, officials are proposing a ban on deer rehabilitation facilities across the state, with hopes of containing the illness.
“If you take an infected deer out of the county to a facility and then release it in that county, you now have an infected deer there,” commission spokesman Keith Stephens told Arkansas Online. “We want to contain this to northern Arkansas.”
The state of Arkansas is home to 51 animal rehabilitation locations of which, 39 rehabilitate deer, according to the Game and Fish Commission’s website. The news of the proposed regulations naturally has some operators up in arms about the plan.
“They need to zone in on those areas where the disease is found, not the entire state,” said Amy Griffin, from her facility in Lockesburg.
“What am I supposed to do next time someone calls me? Ignore it?”
Despite the opposition of the proposal, Stephens still believes the plan to be one sure-fire way of keeping the disease contained. As animals are sometimes transported to suitable facilities, he and other officials believe the risk of spreading the disease to unaffected regions is just too high.
“There are not rehab centers in every county,” Stephens said. “That’s where we run into the avenues that this can be spread. We want to contain the disease.”
H/T: Arkansas Online
Image: By CMEarnest (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons