Study Suggests People Who Eat Deer And Elk With Chronic Wasting Disease May Avoid Infection Because Of Species Barrier

ScienceDaily (Aug. 3, 2009) Data from an ongoing multi-year study suggest that people who consume deer and elk with chronic wasting disease (CWD) may be protected from infection by an inability of the CWD infectious agent to spread to people. The results to date show that 14 monkeys  exposed orally or intracerebrally to CWD remain healthy and symptom free after more than six years of observation, though the direct relevance to people is not definitive and remains under study. For more information go to .



North Dakota  11/22/09  Deer-head collection barrels will be removed from collection sites on Monday. After that, hunters who would still like to submit deer heads for chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis testing must take the head to a Game and Fish Department district office before November 30. Officials this year are collecting samples from western and northeastern North Dakota.

Missouri  11/19/09  The Missouri Conservation Department is turning to taxidermists and hunters to help test for a deadly disease in deer. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) affects the nervous system of deer and elk, causing them to waste away or become abnormally thin, lose all bodily function and die. It’s in several nearby states. While the department has tested for CWD since 2002, this is the first time it’s asked taxidermists for help. Taxidermists who volunteer will save the heads and necks of deer that hunters bring in and turn them over for testing. There is no evidence that eating meat from an infected deer is harmful. Unless health organizations say otherwise, the venison is considered safe to eat.


Deer with Chronic Wasting Disease

Wisconsin   11/18/09  Since chronic wasting disease was first detected seven years ago in southern Wisconsin, near Mount Horeb, it has spread and increased in prevalence. According to state deer biologists, CWD has a confirmed presence in 12 southern Wisconsin counties. The counties with the highest number of deer testing positive are Iowa, Dane, Rock, and Walworth counties.

Wildlife biologists say CWD’s threat to the entire state deer herd remains very real. DNR biologists will be busy in the days and weeks to come to determine its most recent spread. “These are the townships where we’re going to be putting our effort into, and that’s to monitor the rate of spread. We know here is where the high density is,” DNR wildlife biologist Jeff Pritzl showed us. Last year proved to be bad news in the battle against chronic wasting disease. “Unfortunately last year we learned that the prevalence is increasing, so the challenge is still out there before us, but because it’s operating so slowly it’s hard to keep it in the attention of hunters that this

Rutting elk

is an issue statewide.” While intense testing will focus on southern Wisconsin, the DNR is asking hunters statewide to alert their regional offices if they harvest a deer that appears sick during the upcoming gun season.

Pritzl says both the DNR and hunters must stay vigilant to keep CWD at bay. “It’s not going to just simmer down there on its own. If we leave it to its own devices, that disease will move from simmering to boiling at some point in the future and we don’t want to go there,” Pritzl said. “The best recourse in being defensive against CWD is keeping the deer population low enough that the disease can’t really move quickly through that population,” he added.

Illinois  11/17/09  Firearm deer hunters in Boone, DeKalb, Grundy, Kane, LaSalle, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago counties are reminded to bring their deer to mandatory check stations.  Biologists will be sampling adult deer for chronic wasting disease (CWD), to determine areas of infection and prevalence rates.


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