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Extension encourages wildlife protection

The Franklin County Extension System deals with many aspects of life in Franklin County, including its wildlife. To help protect the county’s wildlife, the Extension is asking that deer hunters participate in the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s voluntary sampling of hunter-harvested deer Jan. 12-13 in Waterloo.

The sampling station in Lauderdale County will be set up in the parking lot of Waterloo Fire Station #1, 6390 County Road 14, Waterloo. Deer may be brought to Waterloo for sampling Jan. 12 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Jan. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

AWF is hosting this voluntary sampling because of the recent findings of chronic wasting disease in Mississippi and Tennessee within 50 mils of the Alabama border. Lauderdale, Colbert, Franklin and Marion counties are included in this radius.

“It is important for hunters, landowners and wildlife management professionals to document where CWD is known and not known to exist. The only way to do so is to take tissue samples from deer carcasses – hunter-harvested deer, roadkill deer, et cetera – and test them for the
presence of CWD,” executive director of AWF Tim Gothard said.

To participate, hunters must take their deer to the sampling location, where the necessary tissue sample from lymph nodes and brain stem will be extracted.

AWF is also encouraging non-hunters to spread the word so they can collect as much data as possible to keep Alabama safe.

CWD is a contagious neurological disease that causes a characteristic spongy degeneration of the brains of infected animals, resulting in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death, according to the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance.