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Young elk in chronic wasting disease drug test

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The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is taking first steps to gauge the effectiveness of a vaccine for chronic wasting disease in elk.

The vaccine, developed collaboratively by three Canadian infectious disease centers, is being tested on 25 elk calves transported from Game and Fish’s South Park feedground to the Thorne-Williams Wildlife Research Unit in Wheatland. Another 25 elk calves taken from the feedground will be left at the facility unvaccinated as a control group, said Terry Kreeger, the state wildlife veterinarian.

“These guys are in pens and those pens have been used for CWD research for decades,” Kreeger said.

“Just living in these pens, they’ll pick up the disease. The hope is that the vaccinated ones will live a lot longer. The longer they live, the more offspring they will have in the wild and the better it is for the population.”

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