Chronic Wasting Disease

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Gathering' started by TAHAWK, Oct 10, 2018 at 7:44 PM.

  1. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Guide

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    "Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk (or "wapiti"), moose, and reindeer. As of 2016, CWD had been found in members of the deer family only. First recognized as a clinical "wasting" syndrome in 1967 in mule deer in a wildlife research facility in northern Colorado, USA, it was identified as a TSE in 1978 and has spread to free-ranging and captive populations in 23 US states and two Canadian provinces.[ 'CWD is typified by chronic weight loss leading to death. No relationship is known between CWD and any other TSEs of animals or people.

    Although reports in the popular press have been made of humans being affected by CWD, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests, "[m]ore epidemiologic and laboratory studies are needed to monitor the possibility of such transmissions". The epidemiological study further concluded, "[a]s a precaution, hunters should avoid eating deer and elk tissues known to harbor the CWD agent (e.g., brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes) from areas where CWD has been identified"."
    WIKI

    Clinical signs
    Most cases of CWD occur in adult animals; the youngest animal diagnosed with natural CWD was 17 months. The disease is progressive and always fatal. The first signs are difficulties in movement. The most obvious and consistent clinical sign of CWD is weight loss over time. Behavioral changes also occur in the majority of cases, including decreased interactions with other animals, listlessness, lowering of the head, tremors, repetitive walking in set patterns, and nervousness. Excessive salivation and grinding of the teeth also are observed. Most deer show increased drinking and urination; the increased drinking and salivation may contribute to the spread of the disease.

    Causative agent[edit]
    CWD (like other TSEs, such as scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy) ["Mad Cow"] is caused by a prion, an abnormal form of a normal protein, known as prion protein (PrP), that is most commonly found in the central nervous system (CNS), but is capable of spreading to the peripheral nervous system (PNS), thus infecting meat, or muscle, of deer and elk. The abnormality in PrP has its genetic basis in a particular variant of the protein-coding gene PRNP that is highly conserved among mammals and has been found and sequenced in deer. The prion PrP infects the host animal by promoting conversion of normal cellular protein (PrPC) to the abnormal prion form (PrPres or PrPd). The build-up of PrPd in the brain is associated with widespread neurodegeneration.[
     
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  2. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Guide

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    "In the 2016-2017 hunting season, more than 32,000 whitetails were killed by hunters in the four Wisconsin counties with the highest incidence of CWD in the state – Dane, Iowa, Richland and Sauk counties. The red dots on the map above are the home zip codes for every hunter who harvested at least one of those deer. Yes, hunters from 49 states killed deer in Wisconsin’s CWD hotbed in 2016-17. Only Delaware was not represented in reported harvests. Even hunters from Alaska (26 deer) and Hawaii (two deer) traveled to Wisconsin to hunt in those four counties that year.

    Why is this alarming? Consider all of the following.
    ...
    MOST OF THESE DEER WERE NOT TESTED FOR CWD
    I’ve learned from Wisconsin DNR that they tested 2,291 deer from the four counties in the 2016-17 season, or 7 percent of the harvest. (There are private services available for CWD testing, but the number of deer tested annually that way is in the single digits statewide.) So, that year more than 29,000 deer harvested in those four counties were not tested for CWD. How many of those untested deer probably had CWD? Well, of the 2,291 that were tested, 17 percent were positive. This suggests approximately 5,000 of those untested deer were also positive.

    MOST DEER WITH CWD APPEAR HEALTHY
    CWD incubates in a whitetail for an estimated minimum of 16 months and an average of two years before the deer becomes “clinical” and begins to show symptoms or act sick, at which point it won’t last much longer. Therefore, the majority of CWD-positive deer killed by hunters will appear to be healthy. You cannot look at a deer you killed and determine whether it should be tested for CWD. If you shot it in a CWD zone, you should get it tested.

    WHERE THIS GETS SCARY
    Given all these facts, here’s what we can assume with near certainty: Some number of these hunters killed CWD-positive deer, did not get them tested, and returned home taking parts of those deer with them. The two primary routes for CWD to be introduced into new areas are:

    1. In live, captive whitetails trucked legally or illegally by people.
    2. In contaminated deer carcasses or high-risk parts.
    How many hunters left the CWD zone or even the state of Wisconsin with an entire deer carcass, field-dressed or not? No doubt some of them did, especially those who lived close enough to drive rather than fly to Wisconsin. We can’t know how many, but it’s not zero. We can’t know how many of those CWD-positive carcasses were transported into areas or states that don’t yet have CWD in whitetails, but it’s not zero. And it’s happening every hunting season."
    https://www.qdma.com/this-cwd-map-spells-trouble-future-deer-hunting/
     
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  3. field-expedient

    field-expedient Misfit Supporter Bushclass II

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  4. MiteyF

    MiteyF Tracker

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    Just copy/pasting stuff, or do you have something to add? No doubt just about all of us hunters are already well aware of the situation.
     
  5. ozarkhunter

    ozarkhunter Guide Vendor

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    AR has increased the number of total deer that can be taken, dropped the "3 point rule" antler restriction and allow spikes to be checked as doe in the "expanded CWD zone" in AR. There are 4 counties in the north central part of the state that are the primary designated CWD zone, but 3 counties (all of the ones I hunt) were added this year as an expanded zone. There were 2 deer checked last year that tested positive in one of these 3 counties. The processor I used for my recent buck taken in one of these counties is processing back straps only as boneless meat. Before they offered the option of steaks cut from the back. I will be watching for deer behavior in the woods for the stereo-typical CWD signs.
    I actually prefer hog meat, but it has its own precautions for cleaning/cooking.

    I may have to take up rabbit hunting again...
     
  6. happywanderer

    happywanderer Scout

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    I saw the thread title, "Chronic Wasting Disease," and thought there was finally a scientific explanation why my kids never finish their dinner! :18:
     
  7. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    @ozarkhunter They don't display signs of the active prion for very long. They will only last a week or so once the disease activates. They stop eating and drinking. It's not likely that you will spot one showing symptoms. Still a good idea to keep an eye out.

    For some reason older bucks seem to be the most susceptible and bucks in general more susceptible than does.

    Sometimes I wonder if the spread of CWD represents a spread of the disease or a spread of testing protocols in various states.

    Here in Colorado, the hotbed of CWD has been the northern plains portion of the state and particularly along the S. Platte river and the Poudre river. A study was done in this area of the occurrence of spontaneous brain diseases among the people who live in proximity to the hot bed. Most of the land is private in that area and the locals, most of whom have lived there for a very long time, have of course killed and consumed deer. The study covered a good number of years and searched for a rate of occurrence of this type of brain disease and compared it to populations that were not so severely exposed. The rate of occurrence was statistically the same.

    Anti hunting organizations have tried to draw an association between CWD and humans but have not been able to create a credible link.

    Here is a link to an even broader study completed more recently than the one I'm referencing above. For clarification, CJD is Creutzfeldt Jacob Disease (spelling?) and is the human version of spontaneous prion brain disease.

    http://www.deeranddeerhunting.com/a...isks-rare-or-nonexistent-in-cwd-endemic-areas

    If you are concerned about CWD, you should find a source of testing for any animal you plan to consume. If you field dress your deer, and it does have CWD, you are probably already exposed (that's just my opinion). I have had hunters tell me that they are not worried because they wash their hands and disinfect their knives and saws carefully. Once again, if you are concerned, washing and disinfecting will not eliminate the prion. The prion is a protein and the only way to eliminate it is to literally burn it to a crisp.
     
  8. charlesmc2

    charlesmc2 Scout

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    Prison disease is scary stuff in that cooking does not deactivate or kill it. I was aware of mad cow in the UK and was starting to get a bit paranoid about it.

    Then I considered how pervasive the disease was among livestock there and I read statistics on the number of people affected by it and relaxed a bit. Evidently the disease does not jump the species barrier that easily. Fortunately.
     
  9. Jeffro

    Jeffro Guide Bushclass I

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    I am just an ordinary man with an average education but I was thinking if DNA is made of proteins and proteins are used to modify the genetic make up of the food plants that our livestock consume then could animals up the food chain be using these consumed plant proteins to, within their own bodies modify their own DNA not necessarily for their own good. Are we the creation of CWD by feeding genetically modified feed to these cervids.
     
  10. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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  11. Toytech

    Toytech Scout

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    Jeffro from my understanding about CWD and its spread it has been around since the 60`s long before GMO plants , ive read some reports it originally came from sheep where it is refered to as scrapie and somehow jumped species . CWD is in quite a few areas in Alberta ,its worrying because we have testing here but it can take months to get a result and it means people are dropping off deer at the butcher and having them processed and then getting a positive result after butchering and now the butcher shop may be contaminated .
     

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