GLASGOW — Though it hasn't been discovered in Kentucky, officials are asking the public's help in testing deer for Chronic Wasting Disease.
CWD, which is sometimes referred to as "zombie" deer disease, is a neurological disease of white-tailed deer and elk. It's a fatal condition for deer.
"Currently, there is no evidence that CWD poses a risk for humans; however, public health officials recommend that human exposure to the CWD infectious agent be avoided as they continue to evaluate any potential health risk," a statement on the website CWD-Info.org says in regards to the effects of the disease on humans.
The website describes CWD as "a contagious neurological disease affecting deer, elk and moose. It causes a characteristic spongy degeneration of the brains of infected animals resulting in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death."
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife "has tested more than 30,000 deer and elk for CWD; all results have been negative," an announcement from the department regarding an upcoming check station for Barren County says.
"However, CWD is currently present in six of seven Kentucky-bordering states (Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee.)"
From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 19 and Oct. 20, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife will have a check station set up at the Barren County Extension Office, at 1463 W. Main St. in Glasgow. Hunters are asked to bring harvested deer to the station so they can be tested for CWD.
The department "continues to closely monitor the potential occurrence of the disease and seeks hunter assistance in your area," the announcement says. "KDFWR is asking Barren County hunters to donate tissue samples of hunter harvested deer for this effort."
The state has taken other precautions to guard against CWD.
In September, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission proposed forming a registration system where deer and elk meat processors would be required to register at no cost in an effort to improve communication and monitoring services.