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Published October 31 2009

Deer head samples sought in North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Game and Fish Department once again will be collecting deer head samples for its chronic wasting disease surveillance program.

Officials this year are collecting samples from western and northeastern North Dakota. The samples also will be tested for bovine tuberculosis, which can spread from deer to cattle.

State wildlife officials tested samples from eastern North Dakota in 2007 and the central part of the state last year. A new cycle is to begin next year in the east.

CWD affects the nervous system of members of the deer family and is always fatal. The disease has not been found in wild or farmed deer or elk in North Dakota, but it has been found in several other states and Canadian provinces.