North Dakota wildlife officials expect that some areas along the state's northern border with Canada will be added to a ban on baiting deer aimed at limiting the potential spread of chronic wasting disease.
The fatal disease is slowly growing among the state's population of white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose, according to Casey Anderson, wildlife division assistant chief for the state's Game and Fish Department. Anderson on Monday spoke to the Game and Fish Advisory Board about outlawing the use of bait for deer hunting in certain areas because bait piles are closely linked to the spread of the disease, the Minot Daily News reported.
Chronic wasting disease is transmitted by contact with an infected animal's saliva, blood, urine and other fluids or tissues. It attacks animals' nervous system, leading to death. There's no current treatment or vaccine to combat the disease.
"It affects big bucks the most," Anderson said. "It's almost like a slow growing cancer in the population. We're hoping to hold it back until there's a reasonable solution."
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The disease has been discovered in Sioux and Grant counties along the South Dakota border. It's been found in South Dakota, Montana and in Saskatchewan, Canada, within six miles of the state border.
Anderson said adding areas along the state's border with Canada to the ban will likely happen soon.