JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri — State officials are asking hunters to collect tissue from deer killed in north-central Missouri to help track a deadly disease.
The Missouri Department of Conservation is requesting the samples to test for chronic wasting disease.
The disease is always fatal and threatens to spread among Missouri's 1.3 million wild deer population. Evidence suggests it does not affect humans or domestic animals.
Hunters can take deer to regional locations for the tissue sampling between Sept. 15 and Jan. 15. The sample is free and does not reduce the value of deer.
The more than 3,600 deer tested last hunting season did not test positive for the disease, but officials say the threat still is significant.
Sampling locations are listed on the Conservation Department's website.
Missouri Department of Conservation: http://www. mdc.mo.gov