KENAI, Alaska (AP) – Alaska is asking hunters to bring in the heads of certain animals harvested this season so officials can screen for respiratory pathogens.

The Peninsula Clarion reports the state Department of Fish and Game is expanding its monitor program of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae, a bacterium that can cause respiratory disease primarily in sheep and goats.

The bacterium was detected in Alaska wild sheep and goats and in moose and caribou earlier this year.

Wildlife officials are asking hunters to submit the heads of Dall sheep, mountain goats and Delta bison within two weeks of harvest. They also ask for moose, caribou and muskoxen from certain locations to be submitted for testing.

Officials plan to swap the animals’ nasal cavities and send the samples to a lab for testing.

Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion,

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