Louisiana Drops Ban On Feeding Deer In 3 Parishes
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana has dropped a ban against feeding deer in three northeastern parishes, but is urging against the use of supplemental feed for hunting.
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission ended the ban in Tensas, Madison and East Carroll parishes Thursday, after state biologists reported that they haven't found any sign in Louisiana of a fatal brain infection found in a deer near the state line in Mississippi.
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists tested 300 deer within 25 miles (40 kilometers) of where the infected deer was found and did not detect any chronic wasting disease, according to a news release.
The department says it is encouraging hunters not to use supplemental feeds for hunting because that increases the chances of spreading diseases among animals which come to bait stations.
Chronic wasting disease is caused by misfolded proteins called prions. Deer can get it from each other and even from plants that grow in soil where infected saliva, urine, feces or decomposing carcasses landed, according to a department news release.
Deer may not show symptoms until 16 to 24 months after infection, but the disease is always fatal.
The state will intensify surveillance for the disease in deer killed by hunters in Tensas, Madison and East Carroll parishes, and continue normal surveillance in the rest of the state. It has checked nearly 9,000 deer for the disease since 2002.