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Virginia working to prevent deer disease spread

This undated photo provided by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department shows a white-tailed buck. The Associated Press obtained preliminary data from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department that comes from statewide wildlife surveys the agency performs annually of deer, prong-horned antelope, quail, turkey and other animals. The data has not yet been compiled into a statewide overview, but so far confirms scientists' suspicions that the drought has hampered wildlife reproduction.(AP Photo/Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Earl Nottingham)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia game officials are making a concentrated effort to prevent the spread of a fatal disease in deer.

The Roanoke Times reports that the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has increased its focus on eliminating chronic wasting disease in Virginia’s deer population.

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal ailment that affects the nervous system of deer, elk and moose. It was first detected in Virginia in 2009.

Since then, the state has tested 12,500 deer for chronic wasting disease and found 38 cases.

Virginia has also imposed several rules designed to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease, including a 2015 ban on the use of hunters using deer urine to mask their scent or attract deer.

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