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Chronic wasting disease found in captive Mo. deer

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri agriculture officials say a captive white-tailed deer has tested positive for a fatal illness called chronic wasting disease.

The state Agriculture Department said Wednesday the deer was kept on Macon County property owned by Heartland Wildlife Ranches. The company also owns a captive hunting preserve in nearby Linn County where a deer was diagnosed with chronic wasting disease in February 2010.

The neurological disease afflicts deer, elk and moose. The disease is contagious among those animals, but experts say there’s no evidence that it poses a risk to humans, other livestock, pets or food safety.

The Macon County deer was inspected as part of the state’s chronic wasting disease testing and surveillance program.

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