BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Louisiana wildlife officials are cautioning hunters that deer urine lures might carry malformed proteins that can spread a fatal brain infection called chronic wasting disease.
A Department of Wildlife and Fisheries news release noted that seven states have banned such lures, which are used to attract deer.
Agency veterinarian Jim LaCour says there’s no fast, cost-effective urine test for the malformed proteins called prions.
Prions can be found in an infected deer’s saliva, feces, urine, blood and antler velvet, and can be shed during the year or two before symptoms show.
The lures are made by collecting captive animals’ urine through grates. The agency says that allows mixing with saliva and feces, which typically hold more prions than urine.
The agency’s statement says no state or federal agency regulates urine production and sale.
So far, the disease hasn’t shown up in Louisiana.