Do you think it’s because they started testing for it?
When WI discovered it, DNR literally tried to kill off our entire deer herd it the "hot zone" they had huge dumpters that you would throw your entire deer into after you shot it. A very sad sight to see. We are still finding new areas with CWD and it's still spreading. Deer farms certainly don't help as their escaped infected deer now get mixed in possibly spreading it more. Or it's been here the whole time and nature will take it's course.
This WI deer farmer was paid almost 300k for 228 deer the state killed for CWD. These deer lived on 10 acres folks. I'll say it again to SINK IN--10 acres! That's more than 22 deer per acre. How can disease not happen in these types of cases??
Although concentration does breed disease and especially parasites, I haven't heard any credible theory that CWD originated from game farms. Smoking gun evidence suggests it mutated from a prion disease in sheep (Scrapie) in the experimental pens of Colorado State University about 60 years ago.
And let's not forget the extremely disturbing Canadian study, which didn't clarify what level of prions must be present in the meat to be a risk, but it did reveal that 3 of 5 MONKEYS FED ONLY ONE 7 OZ. STEAK PER MONTH FOR LESS THAN TWO YEARS DID MANAGE TO CONTRACT THIS ALWAYS-FATAL DISEASE! That is a much lower rate of venison consumption than that of most hunters I know.
For your info, here's the message that accompanies Wisconsin DNR test results:
CWD Not Detected
Tissue from the deer you provided the Wisconsin DNR for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing has been examined for CWD prions. There were no CWD prions found and therefore no evidence that the deer was infected with CWD. However, the inability to find CWD prions in the tissue examined is NOT equivalent to pronouncing this deer absolutely free of CWD prions or stating that it is safe to consume. All laboratory tests for CWD only assess the presence or absence of a detectable amount of prions in the specific tissue examined at the time the tissue was collected. A recently infected animal may not test positive because prions have not yet reached a detectable level in the tissue that was tested. CWD testing is clearly of value for disease surveillance to learn where the disease exists, but it has limited value in the context of food safety testing.
If it ends up being determined that CWD does in fact cause prion disease in human brains--which mostly will be proven, if it hasn't already--I would be very surprised if it winds of being a very common human illness. For those unfortunate enough to contract it, though, it is no way to go.....
I am not a fear-monger, and I have determined for myself that what I gain from chasing deer and elk with a bow outweighs the (probably) slight risk of contracting a CWD related illness, as long as common sense is used. Due to the unknowns, however, I definitely do not feel safe making that same decision for my kids.
And there is enough circumstantial evidence that it can pass from deer species to humans, and the incubation periods can be so incredibly long for brain wasting diseases-decades, in fact-that it is incredibly reckless for uninformed individuals to be making proclamations about CWD being around "forever" and posing no risk to humans.
If that were the case, the Department of Defense probably wouldn't have a $42.5 MILLION dollar program trying to protect the US food supply from the threat of prions entering the food supply from deer....either through contamination of meat processing plants, spreading it to cattle directly, or shedding prions into the environment and being taken up into crops such as corn and soybeans.
Stanley Prusiner, the researcher who won the Nobel Prize after discovering that prions were the cause of these brain wasting diseases, later proposed that Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other common neurodegenerative diseases are also caused by PRIONS.
Combine that with a recent Duke University study that found caregivers of someone with Alzheimer's were SIX TIMES MORE LIKELY to get Alzheimer's themselves, and it almost seems that these prion diseases can pass from human to human.
Add to that the fact that these mis-shapen proteins known as prions are extremely difficult to destroy through any known sterilization technique, they can persist in the environment for decades, and they have decades-long incubation periods, and the possible long-term implications are not that great.
Think of all the people currently in nursing homes with Alzheimer's, etc., that could be shedding prions into our sewage systems, which then recycle waste water into municipal drinking water using techniques that don't even come close to destroying prion proteins.......