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CWD agricultural concerns
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
David A. 08-May-18
ryanrc 08-May-18
Jaquomo 08-May-18
walking buffalo 08-May-18
elkstabber 08-May-18
Pyrannah 08-May-18
Brotsky 08-May-18
APauls 08-May-18
ryanrc 08-May-18
Jaquomo 08-May-18
David A. 08-May-18
drycreek 08-May-18
Missouribreaks 08-May-18
Bowriter 08-May-18
Pyrannah 08-May-18
Missouribreaks 08-May-18
Pyrannah 08-May-18
David A. 09-May-18
elkstabber 09-May-18
Riverwolf 09-May-18
Missouribreaks 09-May-18
WhitetailHtr 09-May-18
Lost Arra 09-May-18
txhunter58 09-May-18
Lost Arra 09-May-18
Bowriter 09-May-18
LINK 09-May-18
APauls 09-May-18
ryanrc 09-May-18
Missouribreaks 09-May-18
Pyrannah 09-May-18
Jaquomo 09-May-18
The Kid 09-May-18
David A. 09-May-18
ground hunter 10-May-18
Bowriter 10-May-18
DTala 14-May-18
Bowriter 14-May-18
Jaquomo 14-May-18
Ollie 14-May-18
DTala 17-May-18
Bowriter 17-May-18
Jaquomo 17-May-18
txhunter58 17-May-18
txhunter58 17-May-18
Jaquomo 17-May-18
txhunter58 17-May-18
David A. 18-May-18
Bowriter 18-May-18
txhunter58 18-May-18
wifishkiller 19-May-18
David A. 19-May-18
RickE 21-May-18
Bowriter 21-May-18
Missouribreaks 21-May-18
txhunter58 21-May-18
ryanrc 21-May-18
David A. 22-May-18
wifishkiller 22-May-18
DTala 23-May-18
David A. 23-May-18
Bowriter 23-May-18
From: David A.
08-May-18
https://tinyurl.com/ya9p85gq

The comment about plants being infected via water sure gave be pause...not to mention the potential to disrupt agriculture. Can this really be happening?

From: ryanrc
08-May-18
If it can be passed to people we are all screwed anyway. So if elk and deer can get it from the ground, why can't cattle grazing in the same area get it? Then everyone eats those animals. People eat the crops that might be infected, so they are screwed too. If it can pass between two animals, then if some people get it they will pass it to other people. Water treatment plants will spread it everywhere et cetera. It may take years to show symptoms so basically it would spread before anyone even knew about it.

The down side is pretty gnarly. So let's hope it doesn't spread to people easily if at all and we are good to go!

From: Jaquomo
08-May-18
Ryanarc, you raised a great point - where I live in the core area it has infected mule deer, whitetails, elk, and now moose. Not bighorn sheep or pronghorns. Wonder why cattle sharing the same contaminants haven't contracted it?

08-May-18
Yes it very likely is happening. Ostrich says "I see nothing"....

And when the S hits the markets, expect a new world order in Agricultural. This will be unlike anying seen before.

No country is going to accept imports of crops that test positive for CWD. The word Embargo will be trending.

Speculators and International trade negotiators are holding this card close, ready to use when desired.

And then there is the implications to wildlife that carry and spread the prions. A Scorched Earth policy will be implemented....

Some Game Farmers have expressed joy with the possibilities. No wild populations, a fully captive market....

The possibilities that are so close to being a reality are truly Epoch.

From: elkstabber
08-May-18
CWD has been proven to so far only infect the cervid family to include deer, elk, and moose.

So far it hasn't been able to infect humans, cattle, sheep, goats, birds, fish, etc.

From: Pyrannah
08-May-18
So far is the key word

Mad cow couldn’t affect humans, but then it did and killed a lot of people

The article talks about how it could make a leap to effecting people. We may not be susceptible to it from eating meat, but maybe we are susceptible to it through eating plants.

From: Brotsky
08-May-18
Just another reason I'm not a vegan!

From: APauls
08-May-18
I always knew eating plants is a problem - safer with meat!

In all seriousness CWD is something I used to laugh off. Not anymore. My wife is a PhD biochemist and this stuff is for real.

From: ryanrc
08-May-18
Jaq- is anyone testing any of those free range cattle in cwd hot zones? Are they butchered before symptoms show up? If you made your living grazing cattle on land with cwd and one started showing signs, would you sound the alarms or SSS? I don't know, just speculating.

From: Jaquomo
08-May-18

Jaquomo's Link
Don't know about testing free range cattle but here's a link to a bunch of studies on CWD and cattle susceptibility.

From: David A.
08-May-18
"CWD has been proven to so far only infect the cervid family to include deer, elk, and moose." Nope, now proven to cross the species line in cats, hamsters, transgenic mice, ferrets, and one species of monkey although this was done in lab, not from "wild animals".

What is truly scary is the the prions have been shown to be able to mutate to survive in a new host environment. This plus the extreme difficulty of destroying the prions could theoretically be ripe for "a hostile take over"....not trying to hype up fear, but it doesn't take much imagination to at least consider this could be the perfect "disease" in the making (theoretically!). Or maybe it's been around for centuries...?

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101217083232.htm

From: drycreek
08-May-18
CWD gonna kill us all, Trump gonna piss Iran off and they will nuke us, libs gonna kill us with diversity......

Hank Williams said it best, " You'll never get out of this world alive "

08-May-18
I no longer feed untested wild meat to my family and grandkids. We are not that hungry to put young ones at risk without them understanding the potential consequences. Lots of other meat protein available.

From: Bowriter
08-May-18
I wonder, did anyone worry about CWD before it was discovered? I'm sure it was still there. No reason it wouldn't be. It didn't just start when it was discovered. I also know a sure way to keep it from spreading to any state. Just quit testing for it. Trust me. CWD is in every environment where cervids are in number. And, it always has been.

From: Pyrannah
08-May-18
Missouri, just a FYI based on research I have done, because the meat tested negative, does not mean there are no prions in the muscle

08-May-18
There can be false test results, but testing does find some positives. Nothing is risk free, I just do the best I can.

From: Pyrannah
08-May-18
Agreed

From: David A.
09-May-18
Now it's been found in Norway reindeer. http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/04/norway-plans-exterminate-large-reindeer-herd-stop-fatal-infectious-brain-disease

From: elkstabber
09-May-18

elkstabber's Link
Thanks David A for mentioning CWD in cats, ferrets, etc. I looked it up and found that you were right. I stand corrected.

Here is what a deer farmer in TX is saying. Obviously he is motivated to downplay the significance of CWD because his livelihood depends on it. I'm simply posting it as relevant information. I'm not saying that he's right.

From: Riverwolf
09-May-18
Greed , and lazy lust of some humans will be the death of all.....Stop the damn wild game farms ...baiting & feeding (puts wild animals in a unnatural congested constriction).......

Old school..you want wild game meat..You hunt ........When the first case of this was found in farm raised wild animals , every one of these "Unnatural" wild game farms should have been shut down ...

Just like mining on the edge of protected wilderness , and a eventual (Irreversible) spill/contamination ........Its not if....its WHEN !

09-May-18
How long a disease has been present is not relevant. What matters is the current virulency, and the potential for a shift in virulency. CWD should not be taken lightly. Personally, I would not feed untested cervid meat to my wife and children and will use what precautionary measures are available to me. Nothing is a guarantee in medicine, but one can utilize available resources and make informed choices.

From: WhitetailHtr
09-May-18
If CWD is in plants and domestic livestock, among other animals, then IMO the cat is out of the bag as far as stopping it. Especially since scientists claim that prions can linger for years, and possibly mutate. What we need are pharmaceutical companies to develop inoculations/vaccinations for humans - POST HASTE. Otherwise, how do you avoid it if it is essentially "everywhere"? Just a thought.

From: Lost Arra
09-May-18
Easier and more efficient testing methods needed in known areas.

Read Wyoming regs related to CWD. Very confusing and a logistical nightmare to get something tested especially for non-res hunters who may have many miles ahead on the road. We've been stopped at a mandatory check station in known CWD area and G&F never mentioned anything about CWD or testing.

From: txhunter58
09-May-18
"I wonder, did anyone worry about CWD before it was discovered? I'm sure it was still there. No reason it wouldn't be. It didn't just start when it was discovered. I also know a sure way to keep it from spreading to any state. Just quit testing for it. Trust me. CWD is in every environment where cervids are in number. And, it always has been. "

Sorry, but you are not correct. There are many theories, but the most credible about where CWD originated in NORTH AMERICA was that it was created in the lab at Colorado State University back in the 50/60s. You can follow its spread out through the years from there. Really makes me wonder who is paying your Bowriter, because that is not an informed statement. I know all your anecdotal evidence from old time ranchers, but that just doesn't hold water. And Texas has one of the most population dense whitetail herds anywhere, and there have been ZERO cases in Texas that can't be traced back to deer bringing it in from New Mexico or in a trailer to deer farms.

But what do I know, I am just a veterinarian who lives close to the first case in South Texas and have deer farm clients and has probably sent in over 1000 samples from farm and native deer.

Norway cases?? Well if it mutated in Colorado, it certainly mutate elsewhere in the world under the right conditions.

From: Lost Arra
09-May-18
txhunter58: any way to test a harvested animal other than retropharyngeal lymph nodes?

From: Bowriter
09-May-18
Txhunter-All the old time ranchers I knew are dead. I was at UW when CWD was discovered. Trust me, it was not from any lab at CSU. The elk came off a mountain in CO, then spent some time at CSU, then came to UW. I seriously doubt it is any worse today than ever. It is spread more easily due to cervid farming but what makes it appear virulent is simply more and better testing. If it was started in a lab at CSU, how did it get to a moose in the Yukon or a caribou on the Tiaga?

Yes, it can and does stay in the soil or on plants for years. Digging up the dirt from one of the pens and burning it, did no good. Without a doubt, the two biggest factors in the spread of CWD are cervid farming and concentrated baiting and feeding. But to think just because it hasn't been found in your state, it does not exist is foolish. If you don't want to find, don't test for it. But, be assured it is and has been everywhere there are cervids. My state, TN currently brags we do not have it. That is pure BS. Of course we have it, have had for many years. We just have not tested enough to find it and probably won't. So, let us all now panic.

From: LINK
09-May-18
I’m glad I believe in a good that spoke the world into existence or all this might have me worried about the survival of the human race. ;)

From: APauls
09-May-18
In Manitoba our government is beyond paranoid about CWD, and they test a ton of animals. Haven't found any to test positive. Now what should I believe? Bowriter assuring me that we have and have always had CWD or the thousands of tests? Hmmmmm

Our neighbours to the west in Saskatchewan tested roughly 11% positive deer in both 2015 and 2016. Manitoba has tested 0%. If it "was and has always been" then we should test roughly the same amount positive as them. Yet we don't. Some part of this argument doesn't make sense to me.

From: ryanrc
09-May-18
Bowriter- what about limes disease. It is clearly spreading west. Or, was it always here and we didn't test for it. Things can start up whenever.

09-May-18
Anonymouse is a CWD authority IMO. He has many posts on this forum, and in the community forum which may help educate.

It is true, all of the answers are not known and may never be. At this point the past "pretesting era" is largely irrelevant, what we learn the next ten years will be. I agree, we need more widespread testing. In the meantime, my family will eat other meat protein and venison which has been tested.

From: Pyrannah
09-May-18
Agree, with all the testing going on, they would find it more often if it has been here forever...

Just a safe calming claim to make with seemingly no logic and science behind it...

From: Jaquomo
09-May-18
Some of the lead scientists on the Norway project believe the prions folded spontaneously for some reason, which could explain other mysterious outbreaks. They're looking into reasons why that may have occurred. I used to have the link to the abstract bookmarked but can't find it now.

From: The Kid
09-May-18

The Kid's Link
This might not be the same article Lou, but this is the one I saved in regards to the Norway's extermination project.

From: David A.
09-May-18
There was mention hunters in Norway could have brought in deer scent...a theory.

APauls, was the 11% figure on Sask. deer from harvested deer, or all deer in a survey?

IMO, deer scents should be tested, has this been done? If not, jeeze whiz that is pathetic research progress on something of huge economic and health importance. We need many more facts on CWD. The history of it is important, IMO. There would hardly been any facts about CWD that wouldn't be important. This thing needs to be understood.

I also wonder whether immunization would even be possible against these prions. If they often spontaneously mutate, you have the markings of a perfect disease esp. given the difficulty of eradication.

Lou, how concerned are you eating CO. venison and what is your opinon of the situation in Eastern CO.?

10-May-18
What about the whole country, going nuts with food plots to grow bigger deer? Whats in some of the stuff, that is planted? I do not know, just saying......................

Remember when deer hunting was just that, hunting deer. the farmers worked there land and had crops for commercial use, or to feed there cattle, that's it.....

Deer fended for themselves, and ate in the woods and what they could on farms,,,,,,

No problems back than,,,,,,,, seems once we decided to grow deer or enhance deer horns etc, the problems came up with CWD

From: Bowriter
10-May-18

Bowriter's embedded Photo
Bowriter's embedded Photo
Well now, you see, Ground Hunter, common sense has no place in this discussion. If you are going to ban various deer urines with the thought of slowing down the spread of CWD, then of course, you must be in favor of banning all supplemental feeding or baiting.

Anything that brings deer in close contact with other deer or where they have been, is harmful, potentially a vector. Therefore, stop a minute and consider what does that and what are the major factors. See, just common sense. Do just a little research on prion borne diseases. How many of them occurred, naturally? I can't think right off hand of any. But I am sure there is data to prove otherwise. If it occurs naturally, only one way to stamp it out.

Now, think of all the new diseases that have been discovered in man. Why or how were they discovered? Simply because we developed new testing methods. Could that not also be true of CWD? What other diseases might cervidae have? We won't know until we test for them, will we?

Years ago, deer were fawned, they lived, some died of natural causes and their bodies were quickly consumed. Life was good, no worries. EHD and other diseases were a way of life. Then, along came CWD and mass hysteria and panic set in.

If the deer is healthy, I eat it. If it isn't, I kill it, tag it, call the biologist. He has a PhD in this crap and has said for a long time, "CWD has been here a lot longer than you, Sloan and you are old as dirt."

But right now, I have a problem in my yard. Sumbuck wants my mater plants. Hope he doesn't have TKD.

From: DTala
14-May-18
there are no CWD infected moose in the Yukon or caribou in the Tiaga.

CWD started at Colorados Foothills Wildlife Research Station, in a pen that had held scrappie infected sheep and that healthy mule deer does were placed. PERIOD. Anyone who says different is not educated on CWDs history, repeating stuff without any knowledge, or (fill in thee blank).

From: Bowriter
14-May-18
I'm sure you are right. I'm sure what you meant to say was, "No "reported" cases." In fact, I'm sure you personally tested all the moose and caribou. No problem. I understand.

From: Jaquomo
14-May-18
DTala, I live a few miles from that research station, have lived here since 1962, know the man who was manager of the deer pens at the time it was "discovered", and have also talked with a number of CPW and CSU biologists here. I helped with interviews for a Wall Street journal article on the topic about 15 years ago. Your facts are a bit mixed up. They were not placed in pens with scrapie-infected sheep. They were in the proximity but there is no hard evidence that it was scrapie that made the jump. Scrapie has been around since the 1700s and scrapie-infected sheep have been in contact with ungulates for hundreds of years. To assume that it spontaneously jumped to mule deer in those pens one day in the early 1960s is a gross oversimplification. It was IDENTIFIED by the researchers there who wanted to find out why some deer were getting sick while others were not.

Wild deer exhibiting CWD symptoms had been observed in the adjoining foothills by ranchers and hunters for generations, long before the deer pen research started. Some of those deer would regularly come down to the pens and nuzzle the penned deer through the fence, especially during the rut. So nobody knows for certain if the prion folding occurred outside the pens and was transmitted to the concentrated population inside, or vice versa.

It hasn't been found in Yukon moose...yet.... The tested sample size is very small. It hadn't been found in our CO Shiras moose until it was. It wasn't found in the Norway reindeer until it was. Same with the South Korean deer.

David, nobody in our area that I know of even bothers with testing unless it's mandatory (for moose, for example). The panic happened here, they slaughtered a lot of wild deer, nothing changed, life went on, and the incidence of CJD-V among humans in our county is lower than the national average. Tens of thousands of people have eaten infected deer for many decades. Roughly 15% of the mature bucks have it and we all know that, and people eat them anyway with no ill effects. What "might" happen, might happen, just as someone "might" get hit by a texting teenager and killed on the way to go hunting.

From: Ollie
14-May-18
Just shows how little we know and understand about CWD. (That comment applies to hunters, scientists, and folks at our game agencies)

From: DTala
17-May-18
jaquomo, I'm not mixed up, I've studied CWD for 35+ years, read everything Beth Williams ever wrote on it. The researchers at CSU trapped wild mule deer in the area north of Fort Collins. The healthy deer were placed in research pens that had held scrappie infected sheep that were being studied. The sheep were removed and soon after the deer were placed in those same pens...from grad student Beth Williams. The researchers wanted the new fawns, so after weaning most of the does were released back to the area north of Ft Collins (the area we call the hot zone now). Coincidence?

Some of those does, and later deer in the pens were shipped to a Wo research station, while others went to two zoos, and several private properties.

CWD was identified by then Doctor Beth Williams much later in 1978 as a TSE disease, exactly like scrappie. In her papers Beth Williams said she feared that they(the researchers) had set the stage for a new disease in deer. Pretty sure she would know much more than anyone else what happened. It came from close contact with infected soil in those research pens at Ft Collins...too many deer on saturated infected soil is what made the transmission to deer possible.

From: Bowriter
17-May-18
DTala-you are close to right. Dr. Beth first found the disease in a couple elk that came from CSU. The mule deer you are talking about came much later. I spent a lot of time at that research station while Dr. Beth was there. I worked with Dr. Tom Dunn on pine needle abortion in elk. I graduated from UW in 72. It is a fact...no one single person knows if the original elk had the disease when they were live trapped or if they got it after coming to the pens at CSU. It is known, they had it prior to coming to UW. Now. Why was it not discovered earlier. Quite simply because there was no test for it. It was not until the penning of wild cervids became more widespread that someone, namely Dr. Beth, became concerned with WHY they died. You are dead on with your statement, "Too many deer on saturated, infected soil is what makes the transmission possible." That is true in a pen or in free-range where deer become concentrated. However, that is not the only means of transmission. I would theorize that a licking branch would also be a super conductor. Unfortunately, once the soil is contaminated, to date, there is no way to clean it. Therefore: The major factors in the spread of CWD are; (1) Penned animals. (2) Sale and transport of previously penned animals. (2) Supplemental concentrated feeding and baiting. My hypothesis: CWD is not a new disease. It has been around as long as there have been cervids. What is new is the testing for it. In the wild, a cervid dies and is quickly consumed. Once we started penning cervids, we started seeing CWD. It is that simple.

From: Jaquomo
17-May-18
Bowriter beat me to it. Thanks, John. Dr.Williams and her team were researchers who identified the TSE, but much of what you describe conflicts with what the managers and workers observed, as well as how the sick deer were dealt with. As John noted, wild cervids simply died and were consumed by scavengers. But the old time ranchers who observed "wasting" deer just thought they were "sick" and died, just as sometimes cows waste away and on the range.

We will never know where originated. What we do know is that is is starting to appear in places where there is no link to the "hot zone", it only affects a small percentage of the population exposed to it in wild conditions, and the more testing done on large sample sizes, the more prevalent it appears to be.

From: txhunter58
17-May-18
Texas has been testing for CWD since 2003. As of March of this year, there have 74,729 negative tests for free ranging deer in Texas. Aprox 30,000 of those have been hunter harvest and road kill tests in the last 3 years. I personally have tested around 10 on my 1000 acres that were all negative, including a doe that was "wasting away". The only positives in Texas on a handful of free ranging deer are all in close proximity to deer farms with positives. The exception is West Texas, where it has migrated naturally from New Mexico.

"It is out there everywhere, we just aren't testing for it" doesn't hold much water in Texas...........................

From: txhunter58
17-May-18
Regardless of how or where you think it has started, it is not "out there everywhere".

It is spreading naturally from the initial areas where it formed and all other areas can 98% be traced to a trailer hauling infected animals to new areas.

From: Jaquomo
17-May-18
Norway? South Korea? Not sure how much trailer hauling of infected animals happened there. They can find no link to the U.S. in that Norway reindeer herd.

From: txhunter58
17-May-18
Nope. That is why I said North American cases. It has been said that it is already everywhere there are deer. Well, Texas has one of the most dense populations of deer in North America, and has had some big numbers of testing, but the only cases are where a trailer took them. So that theory doesn't hold water.

People are saying that it is everywhere and so we should have free access to haul deer anywhere we want. My main point is THAT IS NOT TRUE. Hauling infected deer by a trailer is how CWD is leapfrogging from area to area in the US. And I don't want it in my area any faster than it gets there by natural movment

From: David A.
18-May-18
"no one single person knows if the original elk had the disease when they were live trapped or if they got it after coming to the pens at CSU. ". -- Had those elk been held in the same sheep pens or grounds?

btw, I was at CSU last year, is this the area a hundred or so yds. below where the bison are on the hill overlooking CSU?

From: Bowriter
18-May-18
David A-I have no idea. I have not been to CSU since 1972. Now. I just finished doing a radio show from 7:30-8:00, this morning On the show with me, was an "expert", on CWD. (Local expert). Surprisingly, we agreed right down the line in that, CWD, its' origin, its' development, its' impact are all conjecture. No one knows how it started, where it came from, if it has spread or always been there...etc. What is known, is how to test for it and where it was first discovered. As for the "seeming", lack of discovery in free range, Texas animals, how many that died in the wild and were quickly consumed by scavengers, have been tested? If you only test animals that have been shot or died in pens, you have a false testing. That is akin to testing patients in a doctor's office and those playing sports on a playground. To get an accurate reading is impossible with free-range animals. Oh, we also discussed airbows and Asian carp. Each day...maybe, we learn more about CWD. What don't learn and will probably never learn is when and where it started or...how to cure it. As long as there are cervidea, there will be CWD.

From: txhunter58
18-May-18
But bowriter, you are just backing up my main premise: Don't haul deer down the road in trailers until we have a better idea. As your so called expert said: "we don't know......"

And yes, Bowriter it is hard to prove a negative. We could have a million negatives and you could still say, "you are just not testing the infected animals". But 74, 000+ negatives are a pretty good indication that it is not widespread. Look at places in the Midwest where it has spread too. There are places with a HIGH percentage of the population infected (40+, in some places). And with Texas's high deer densities, if it were here naturally, just like up there, we would have gotten some positives with that many tests.

I am convinced it is not on my ranch yet, and I do not want someone hauling it to the area in a trailer!

From: wifishkiller
19-May-18
I gotta know how the baiting thing, deer farms is the main contributors to CWD spreading? I can't imagine that its worse then, the thousands of guys killing critters out here and going home with animals, or birds picking over dead stuff, predators, not to mention migrations? How does a few critters behind a fence cause the problem? Does anyone know if they took a 50/50 positive negative deer, put them in a few acres to see if they can actually all get it?

I never really gave it much thought, been around CWD since I was a kid and never ate sickly critters (that I know of). How all these opinions are floating around, it's like making a decision with darts, a spinning wheel and a bottle of Jack.

From: David A.
19-May-18
Consider also just walking in CWD tainted soil. The you use same boots in an uncontaminated area....this could be an almost perfect disease if the prions ever mutate enough to be readily infectious in humans.

But can prions really mutate...they have no DNA. They can change, but is the changed permanent, does it even follow any Mendelian principles?

From: RickE
21-May-18
Saskatchewan sent a shipment of Elk to Korea to promote game farming there and the production of antler velvet for market. Those initial animals were infected with CWD.....Rick.

From: Bowriter
21-May-18
Wifishkiller- Compare it to going to a doctor's waiting room. Anytime you concentrate infected animals with healthy ones, you increase the potential to spread disease. That is just plain, common sense. All that is needed to confirm that is a little research.

21-May-18
Which is exactly why many game managers want fewer animals on the landscape, not more to please the sportsman.

From: txhunter58
21-May-18
"South Korea? Not sure how much trailer hauling of infected animals happened there"

"Saskatchewan sent a shipment of Elk to Korea to promote game farming there and the production of antler velvet for market. Those initial animals were infected with CWD"

http://cwd-info.org/announcement/first-case-in-south-korea/

Hmmm. Looks like there was some trailers involved in hauling infected animals to Korea....

From: ryanrc
21-May-18

ryanrc's Link
Will the last person turn the lights off? It just got real in Colorado! Also, the NIH debunked the monkey study?

From: David A.
22-May-18
From RUANRC'S LINK:

Among the measures that state wildlife managers favor:

• Increasing hunting of CWD-infected bucks and bull elk to reduce the prevalence in “hot-spot” herds.

• Monitoring the spread of CWD through mandatory testing, at least every three years, of carcasses.

• Launching an early-detection system based on collecting animals killed along highways, then testing tissues for CWD. Studies have shown roadkill deer are 2.5 times more likely to carry CWD, which apparently renders animals more vulnerable to being hit by cars.

• Discouraging large gatherings of deer, elk and moose to slow the spread of CWD via exchanges of animal body fluids. Tactics include removing of salt licks for cows and enforcement of rules prohibiting baiting of big game.

• Slowing the spread of CWD by requiring safe disposal of carcasses at landfills.

• Enlisting cities and towns to help fight the disease.

• Stopping the transport of deer and elk carcasses between states.

“We’re at a very critical point. We need to do something. This is not only in Colorado. It is nationwide. And there are other states that have a higher prevalence,” Colorado Wildlife Commissioner Marie Haskett said, referring to Wyoming.

Haskett also urged better communication because, she said, some hunters wrongly believe that CWD remains only in the brains of infected animals. Testing has shown CWD eventually spreads into bones and muscles.

“We’re going to be proactive taking steps,” she said, “to prevent it from growing,”

Federal agencies apparently aren’t involved.

A decade ago, Colorado wildlife managers tested thousands of deer and elk each year to track the spread of the disease, records show. But that level of monitoring ceased. But then mandatory testing by hunters between 2015 and 2017 revealed CWD spikes in some parts of the state. Hardest-hit herds include those along the Front Range west of Colorado Springs, metro Denver and Fort Collins, and near Craig, in northwestern Colorado.

CPW officials said they’re aiming tentatively for a 10 percent infection threshold as a trigger for mandatory testing and increased hunting.

Coloradans for Responsible Wildlife Management, a 1,300-member group based in Cañon City, has encouraged an open public process before CPW settles on a strategy for fighting the disease, director Dan Gates said.

“Wildlife is a resource. Nobody wants to see it go away,” he said. “We’re trying to do what is best for wildlife for multiple generations.”.

Nationally, a Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance has formed to help coordinate state responses.

For hunters, the best approach is caution, alliance director Matt Dunfee said.

“Get it tested. If it is positive, do not eat it,” he said. “There’s been no successful management technique to eliminate this disease or halt its progress long-term. It spreads geographically and it increases in prevalence. What we do know is that, with mule deer and white-tailed deer, we get significant herd impacts when CWD hits the 20 percent threshold.

“If you are a hunter, we will need you to hunt because we need the samples you can provide. If you are a wildlife enthusiast and want to see healthy deer and elk, you’ll need to push for funding for studies and for implementing all the recommendations in this plan for scientific management of CWD. The challenge for the public will be allowing these animals to be harvested. This disease does not go away. There is no vaccine. It is always fatal. And the only hope we have to manage it is to try to keep the prevalence low.”

From: wifishkiller
22-May-18
Bowriter, I get that but how are fenced in animals getting it? Obviously if there are infected mixed in more would get it? Has that been tested yet, if all fenced animals would indeed contract it?

From: DTala
23-May-18
the fencing and the population density have nothing to do with a new infection. The infection comes thru the gate in a trailer to the fenced area.

From: David A.
23-May-18
Why not from boots or tires containing contaminated soil? Or a crow or buzzard that ate on CWD carrion and then crapped miles away?

From: Bowriter
23-May-18
Bowriter, I get that but how are fenced in animals getting it? Obviously if there are infected mixed in more would get it? Has that been tested yet, if all fenced animals would indeed contract it?

DTala is right but there is more to it. It only takes one infected animal to have been in the pen. The soil retains the agent for...nobody knows how long. One animal, in transit can spread it tremendously. Now, that is regarding penned and farmed animals. In the wild-and for sure it occurs in the wild-it is spread most actively through concentration of animals. That is why, this, "• Discouraging large gatherings of deer, elk and moose to slow the spread of CWD via exchanges of animal body fluids. Tactics include removing of salt licks for cows and enforcement of rules prohibiting baiting of big game." was listed above. It is simple common sense, no different from an infectious disease in humans.

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