KRISTIN MANSFIELD summarizes the bulk of her job as Washington’s statewide wildlife veterinarian to three words: “Death, drugs and disease.”
For 16 years with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, she has been investigating wildlife mortality cases, managing the agency’s animal capture drugs and coordinating statewide wildlife disease surveillance.
Her plate of priorities includes issues of major importance to sportsmen and the general public. Among them:
Chronic wasting disease, which has spread as close to Washington as Montana and Alberta. Mansfield is helping develop WDFW’s prevention, surveillance and management plan.
Elk hoof disease, a crippling affliction that renders elk hooves raw and disfigured. Mansfield is working with outside collaborators to understand the biology of the disease officially called treponeme-associated hoof disease of elk. She’s working with WDFW staff on understanding the population effects and investigating possible interventions for managing it.
Capture drug access. State and federal regulations must be met to assure availability of the restricted drugs WDFW officers and biologists use to “tranquilize” wildlife for research and relocation.
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