Less Discussion About CWD in Wisconsin

There has been less discussion in recent years about chronic wasting disease in Wisconsin’s wild and deer farm herds the last few years, but that doesn’t mean the disease has gone away.

In fact, the disappearance of CWD management zones is due to a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources decision to no longer “manage” the spread of the disease. Instead, the DNR has chosen to monitor it, and even that effort has been curtailed.

Due to budgeting, fewer deer are being tested. Only 4,000 deer, maybe fewer, will be sampled and tested this year, down more than 1,000 from last year. In 2002, more than 40,000 deer were tested.

Prion scientists have repeatedly warned against eating infected deer and the Wisconsin Division of Public Health recommends that venison from deer killed in CWD-affected areas not be consumed or distributed to others until CWD test results from the deer are known to be negative. Sauk County and all seven of its neighboring counties are considered to be CWD-affected areas, according to the DNR.

The disease, probably caused by a prion protein particle, which is not an organism or virus, has not been shown to jump the species barrier in nature from deer, elk and moose to cattle, humans or other species.

However, health officials say meat from infected deer should not be consumed.

Researchers say larger percentages of deer in CWD zones have been found to be infected as the disease has spread.

Since the state is unwilling to do so, perhaps it’s time for a private group to step forward and establish a CWD “research command center” to coordinate monitoring and research efforts among individuals, agencies, universities and private laboratories that are looking into the problem.

By Jerry Davis, Source Link: http://www.wiscnews.com/baraboonewsrepublic/news/local/article_d384e622-...