JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Wildlife officials in Wyoming will not require hunters to test meat for chronic wasting disease this year.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has the authority to require testing in an effort to contain the spread of the fatal neurological disease that affects many ungulate species. But department spokesman Renny MacKay says a voluntary approach is appropriate because "we've had good success getting help from hunters."

Animals have tested positive for chronic wasting disease in Park, Fremont, Sublette and Lincoln counties. The disease degenerates animals' brains, causing emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death. The symptoms often begin long after an animal is infected.

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