More cases of deer disease in Missouri, but experts hopeful

ST. LOUIS – The number of confirmed cases of chronic wasting disease in Missouri deer is up, but an expert with the state Department of Conservation says aggressive management efforts are helping to contain the spread.

Wildlife disease coordinator Jasmine Batten says 15 deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease out of 19,500 tested since July, up from nine the year before. Diseased deer were found in eight counties spread across the state. Linn County had the most, with four.

Batten says the increase could have been much worse since more than 330 deer with chronic wasting disease have been confirmed in northwest Arkansas, near the Missouri border. Also, the number of cases in northeast Missouri, where the disease was first spotted, has declined in recent years.