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Protect Louisiana’s native deer population from Chronic Wasting Disease: Keep the Ban on Use of Deer Urine
Recently, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a ban on the use of deer urine in an additional step to keep Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) out of Louisiana.

On Wednesday, the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee will debate whether or not to overturn the ban. Committee members need to hear your concern about the potential impact of CWD on Louisiana’s natural deer herd and your support for conservative management approaches like a ban on the use of natural deer urine.

Chronic Wasting Disease is a real threat. It’s a neurodegenerative disease of deer and other cervids that is infectious and always fatal.

CWD has not been found in Louisiana, but has been found in Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi. We must be as cautious as possible about this potential threat. If CWD is detected in Louisiana, the state will need to spend a lot of public money and resources to check the spread. Once a CWD case is detected, quarantine measures will limit hunting in that area. Deer herds will diminish in the long-term.

There is currently no known cure. By keeping CWD from spreading into Louisiana we are protecting important economic generators in rural areas of our state and treasured outdoor recreational activities enjoyed by many. Even if you’re not a deer hunter, wildlife needs you to speak up.

CWD is caused by mutated proteins called prions that are spread by deer-to-deer contact, or by contact with urine, feces, saliva, and body parts of infected deer.

The prions can be found in deer urine, which is used by hunters as an attractant and a cover to scent. The risk of spreading the disease while spraying potentially infectious fluids into our habitat is just not worth it. Infectious materials in soil persist for years and infected soil is almost impossible to disinfect.

In 2017, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a comprehensive action plan to reduce the likelihood of introducing CWD into Louisiana. The Commission’s recent approval to ban the use of natural deer urine in the state is another step to guard against the spread of this fatal disease to our deer.

The Federation applauds these measures and called for the action in our own policy recommendations. Biologists and researchers tell us the best Louisiana can do to address this threat is to keep CWD out. We don’t believe spraying potential CWD-infected fluids is in the best interest of our wildlife and their prudent management. You can view Louisiana Wildlife Federation’s position at: https://lawildlifefed.org/resolution/ban-on-the-use-of-deer-urine/ 
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