Missouri finds no chronic wasting disease in wild deer

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri conservation officials say a sampling of the state's wild deer population has found no signs of chronic wasting disease.

The neurological disease affects deer, elk and moose. A white-tailed deer that was part of a captive herd in northern Missouri's Linn County tested positive for the disease earlier this year.

But the Department of Conservation says tests on wild deer from Linn, Macon and Chariton counties found no cases of the ailment. The tests were done on 153 tissue samples collected by the agency, and 72 samples from deer killed by hunters.

Conservation officials say a healthy deer population is vital to Missouri's economy and outdoor traditions.

Chronic wasting disease has been documented in more than a dozen states and two Canadian provinces.