CWD increasing in North Dakota deer

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is closely monitoring an increase in deer with chronic wasting disease.

In 2018, only two cases of CWD were found in Sioux and Grant Counties. This year, Game and Fish says there were at least five cases. In Divide County, the number rose from one in 2018 to three at the end of hunting season. Roughly two dozen cases of the disease have been reported since 2009.

“Rarely does that infection rate stay static, usually that disease spreads in the heard, so over time if you get a really high rate of infection that will cause population impacts,” said Charlie Bahnson, wildlife veterinarian for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

The department says hunting in the those counties could help lower the chances of infected deer spreading the disease to a herd.