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rockies
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# Posted: 19 Feb 2019 20:10 - Edited by: rockies
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I don't hunt, but I saw this on the news. Apparently it is similar to "Mad Cow Disease", and it is spreading.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4970069/zombie-deer-disease/

I'm already leery about deer due to the possibility of contracting lyme disease from infected ticks on the animals skin. Have there been any health warnings about this new disease in your area?

Additional info:

Apparently there is a test kit that you can use before you eat the deer meat.

https://sawcorp.com/press-release-sawcorp-launches-first-practical-live-blood-test-cw d/

Old and Slow
Member
# Posted: 19 Feb 2019 22:42
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CWD has been common in Colorado for many years. Georgia has none and while de-boned meat can be brought back from hunting trips, bones cannot as far as I remember. I've never heard of human infection from eating the meat from infected animals, but do know when the NPS planned to reduce elk herd size in Rocky Mountain, the diseased carcasses were to be burned.

I no longer deal with biologists so cannot get a good answer.

Bob

montecristo
Member
# Posted: 20 Feb 2019 09:36
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Calling CWD "Zombie Deer Disease" is a bit of fear mongering if you ask me.

It's been around a long time and in most areas nothing to worry about. Most cases seem to start at cervid farms. Either shutting down or much more stricter regulations are needed for these farms otherwise it will continue to spread until a vaccine/cure is discovered. There is some hope on that front but it seems most biologists aren't convinced yet.

https://wjactv.com/news/local/researchers-claim-cure-to-deadly-deer-disease-game-comm ission-responds

https://lancasteronline.com/sports/outdoors/could-we-be-wrong-about-what-causes-dread ed-chronic-wasting/article_6b68034a-2b14-11e9-96b6-8bdb169e7a30.html

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 20 Feb 2019 10:35
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This is the type of thing that folks will think that more government is the answer. When the reality is that animals in pens were infected. Bad herd management on the owner. There are already plenty of laws . Btw lymes disease sucks. X twice

95XL883
Member
# Posted: 20 Feb 2019 12:04
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I agree with MC and AK. Renaming an old well known condition with a flashy, scary new name isn't journalism. I can't find the citation right now but CWD was first documented in a Colorado deer farm about 50 years ago.

And then adding the fear-mongering quote from some CDC official was really over the top. When I searched I found published CDC data and analysis on CWD. That paper expresses is nowhere near as fear-mongering as the quote cited in the first post. To give a short recap, CWD is caused by a damaged prion. Variants of that prion can exist in cattle, white deer, mule deer, elk, sheep and moose. Tainted cattle is definitely a risk and that is why the cattle market is tightly regulated. The prion variant in mule deer, elk and sheep is currently believed to not affect humans. There is some concern that the prion variant in white deer may affect humans. To date there have been no known cases of humans being affected by it. It is just a concern. The reason for the concern is researchers have been able to infect lab mice and one primate species with that variant. But that same variant had no effect on another species of primate.

The article is just blatant fear mongering.

socceronly
Member
# Posted: 20 Feb 2019 18:57
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Accurate.
zombiedeer_web698x.jpg
zombiedeer_web698x.jpg


rockies
Member
# Posted: 20 Feb 2019 19:27
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Well, perhaps it is fear mongering. However, if you had your recently harvested deer meat tested and it was positive for CWD, would you eat it?

fiftyfifty
Member
# Posted: 20 Feb 2019 19:48
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Yeah, it's a tough one. CWD is the same prion as sheep Scrapie, which has been known since the 1700s at least, and so far no human infections. This is unlike the Mad Cow disease prion which is proven transmissible to humans causing Creutzfeldt–Jakob (CJD). So since sheep scrapie has never been transmitted to humans, I think the meat of an infected deer is safe. That said, it gives me the "ick factor", so I would choose not to eat deer meat that was known infected. I know that's irrational, but there you have it. I have seen a person with end-stage CJD and it is one of the few things that I have found haunting. Normal medical stuff does not bother me, for example I have no trouble visiting an ICU or touching a corpse. But the person with CJD was hard to see.

rockies
Member
# Posted: 20 Feb 2019 19:55
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It also raises the troubling question of "what do you do if you go to someone's house and they serve you freshly harvested deer meat"?

Nothing brings dinner to a screeching halt like asking "Has this been tested for CWD?"

sparky30_06
Member
# Posted: 21 Feb 2019 07:52
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CWD has been around for many many years and is typically found in areas of over population. 9 time out of 10 you will see physical signs in the deer, they will look very sickly. I hunt an area that is mandatory CWD check BECAUSE of a captive breading facility in the area that collected doe urine, they had a very high concentration of deer and a few got out. They have found one or two cases of deer with CWD in free range deer but they are watching for it. Now CWD is a type of virus that can mutate but so far it hasn't. As mentioned before calling it zombie deer is complete bullshit. They don't walk around eating other deer or becoming cannibals. They basically starve to death. When you see pictures of them or see one you will know it's sick.
As of right now there are no cases of CWD in humans. Humans can not contract CWD, in it's present form. CWD also resides in the brain, spinal fluid, eye balls, and pituitary gland. So with good cleaning and processing procedures the chance of you ingesting it is slim, unless you eat those organs.
Out in west Texas every few years anthrax hits also, but you never hear about it. It kills the exotic heards but they come back. Is CWD something to watch and be informed about, yes but there are other thing that one should be more worried about. Lymes disease is something I am more worried about than CWD.

old greybeard
Member
# Posted: 21 Feb 2019 08:36
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CWD is not a virus, its a protein based prion. It does not die, as its not alive. Exists for years in soil where deer congregate. Freezing/cooking will not neutralize it. Very scary stuff, spreading slightly here in PA. Deer can have it, and spread it for months with no signs. Feeding deer, deer farms, anything that gathers deer together can help spread this. We need to keep the deer population under control or this will spread faster.
Nobody has seen it in humans, but nobody is saying it can't be spread to us, just hasn't yet. I know of several hunters who no longer eat venison.
I still do, and will, but am very careful not to spine shoot deer, and stay away from the central nervous system.

95XL883
Member
# Posted: 21 Feb 2019 10:21
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Rockies, my apologies if my charge of fear-mongering against that article's author offended you; it is not my intent to offend anyone. That said, please understand I have lived most of my life in fear under a very real death threat against myself and my parents. Living in fear is a horrible thing and it ticks me off no end when someone uses fear to gain something. In the article's instance, the author is using fear to get readership and increase his standing as an author. (In my eyes, he lessened his standing as he won't take the time to present a logical case.)

Back to the CWD issue, on any food, no matter where it comes from, common sense should be used. Sick (distinguished from injured) animals should not be harvested for food. An obviously seriously sick animal should be either gotten medical attention or put down. Testing can then be done to determine the nature of the sickness. With game animals one should probably talk to a local game warden as they will be very concerned with unlicensed or out-of-seasoned taking. (I have a call into my local warden to get his guidance should I ever come across an obviously sick game animal.)

To get to the specific question about tainted food, any tainted food should not be eaten. While there are no known cases of humans being infected by white-tail deer because some test indicated some possible risk, that meat shouldn't be eaten. Note the CWD risk applies only to white-tail deer. There is apparently no perceived risk from mule deer, sheep or elk. (Just for reference, elk, properly prepared is excellent, much better than the best steak in my opinion.) In my area, there are no known cases of CWD so I don't worry about it. I am careful however to process meat safely. I prefer to do it myself so that I know it is done right and that the meat I'm getting is the deer I shot. (Some commercial processors will not guarantee or even try to get you your deer back; they will just give you processed deer meat when your turn in line comes. It might be yours, it might not.) As Old Graybeard said, proper handling is very important. As Sparky said, the zombie characterization is total bullshit.

Hunters just need to use common sense. Don't harvest an obviously sick animal. Depending on how sick it appears it may be prudent to shoot it, isolate the meat and test it. (I have seen two animals in the wild whose behavior was so atypical that something was obviously wrong. One, a skunk, was stumbling around at 2 pm on a 90 degree day. Most likely rabies, maybe something else. The practical thing was to put it down and dispose of the carcass. The other was a possum, again in mid-day that once seeing my wife and I changed its course to come straight at us. Rather than risk my wife getting hurt (she has mobility issues), I put it down. For info's sake, possums are diurnal, i.e., they come out day or night. Seeing one during the day isn't a big deal. Seeing one change its course and start approaching a human with a german shepherd dog, is cause for alarm.)

Again my apologies for coming on strong on fear-mongering. Discussion and awareness of issues is a good thing. Thank you Rockies for posting the article and thank you to all for sharing information.

RichInTheUSA
Member
# Posted: 21 Feb 2019 14:27
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In the state/county I live in, a deer harvested on Opening Day must be checked by the department of game and inland fisheries.

One of my neighbors shot a deer that appeared to be just fine, but tested positive for CWD. That's a bit worrisome... but in the end it means that we should have all deer checked prior to consuming it.... at least until it's not reported in the area any more.

rockies
Member
# Posted: 21 Feb 2019 19:50
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95XL883, No, I wasn't offended. I am more interested in peoples reactions to the information in the article than the way the information was presented.

I am also interested in how people respond to potential threats to the food supply (and their own health and well being) based upon whether the food comes from a farmed source or a wild source.

For example, you say that hunters "just need to use common sense". However, an animal doesn't have to look sick in order to be sick. Only a medical test can determine that. Why is meat harvested in the wild assumed to be free of disease and therefore safe to eat? I would think that the opposite would be true, that because the meat had never been tested that it would naturally be suspect.

If meat sold in a supermarket is found to be contaminated with some pathogen then the public naturally demands that it be removed from sale and destroyed, so if there is a possibility that wild game is contaminated then I think the hunter should have it tested before eating it, no matter how healthy it looked when the animal was alive.

95XL883
Member
# Posted: 21 Feb 2019 23:29
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Hi Rockies,

I'm a little mystified why you assume anything from a grocery store is safe. It was just a few months ago when there was a massive recall on Romaine that had been packaged into mixed salads. I also seem to recall a massive egg recall sometime last summer. Add in the occasional recalls for tainted meat that happen periodically. Bug and rat feces in fresh fruit is a well-known hazard. You do thoroughly was fresh produce, right? And let's talk about the processed meat industry. Surely you have seen the massive beef feedlots where cattle are packed in like sardines in a can. And the hog and chicken farms are notorious for crowding animals. Those tight conditions are rife with opportunities for passing diseases. The turkey farms aren't any better.

If you aren't scared yet, well just wait, I haven't got to the scariest part yet. Please note it is not my intention to scare anyone. I'm trying to make a point that hazards are everywhere and it is incumbent on all consumers to have some awareness and take some precautions.

Here comes the one that might be worrisome if there is any real possibility that humans can get CWD from deer. Most food contaminants can be neutralized by washing, ultraviolet light, heat or cold. The prions that cause CWD are apparently immune to those treatments. In fact, I don't believe there is any way to neutralize those prions. If those prions are really harmful to humans than here is where it will get really worrisome. It is more than deer, sheep, cattle, etc that spread prions. I wish I had kept the citation but I was reading what struck me as very well researched article on prions. Apparently plants are efficient transmitters of prions. Now think about what that means. It means that if an infected deer, cow, sheep, etc pee or crap in a field that is later used to produce crops then those prions will find their way into corn, soybeans, wheat, sunflower seeds, peanuts and just about any plant based food from that field. In other words, if you are going to worry about getting CWD from venison then you should be worrying about getting it from fruits and vegetables as well.

Now keep in mind that prions were first noticed in deer in 1967. Since that time, there have been no documented cases of CWD in humans attributed to venison consumption. My point is there may be some risk but it is so small that it doesn't deserve much concern at this time.

Compare this to the spread of BSE which is transmittable to humans. BSE was first documented in the late 1980's. Britain declared it wasn't a health risk in 1990. By 1995 there were enough cases of BSE in humans that Britain had to reverse its position and the rest of the world took serious steps to keep infected meat from human consumption. To repeat, in less than 7 years, BSE went from being discovered to being classified as a fatal ailment that was transmittal to humans.

For comparison sake, CWD has been a know condition since 1967 and yet not after 50+ years there is still not one documented case of CWD in humans.

Actually, I feel much safer eating venison that I have harvested and processed that I do eating beef from a grocery store. Still the risk of getting contaminated food from the grocery is so small that I don't worry about that either.

SCSJeff
Member
# Posted: 22 Feb 2019 09:29
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Just to throw in here as well...

URL

According to the PA Game Commission, Elk are also susceptible to CWD. I listened to a member of the Rocky Mtn Elk Foundation here in PA also confirm that they are concerned about this and is why they have worked with the game commission to keep multiple separate herds... To reduce the chance of an infection wiping out the entire herd in the state that they've worked so hard to re-introduce over the years.

There is now also a ban on feeding in certain management areas to prevent deer from closely congregating and spreading the disease.

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 22 Feb 2019 14:05
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The wild game meat I am blessed to be able to harvest and the rabbits, chickens, turkeys , garden ,greenhouse foods are 100% hormone, steroid free. My family processes our game and is cared for in meticulous fashion. And most of the folks I know are just as careful and proud of their way of doing it . I have absolutely no problem eating what they serve .
I suspect that if you thought about how the farmer who gets rid of their livestock because they see sickly signs . And the white blood cell count is within tolerances. The guy getting minimum wages to clean all the industrial equipment that only was to have a small bit if meat stuck somewhere and they gets dropped into your ground meat. Or the farmed fish or fish sitting in the bottom of a fish holdin tank for a few days . Not saying that there are not mostly very meticulous folks in these industries, most are. Think you get my drift. If anyone thinks that because the government says it’s ok. It is . Well you’re wrong. And not allowing yourself the freedom to live your life . Whether building your cabin to the food you eat. Is something that is definitely wrong in my book of life.
But if folks want to depend on the government to guide them instead of their own common sense , well I guess that’s your choice. Just my way of trying to live my life to the fullest.
More government is not the answer.

rockies
Member
# Posted: 22 Feb 2019 19:03
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95XL, I don't assume that anything bought from a grocery store is safe. However, the products sold IN the grocery store are subjected to more inspection and testing than any wild game that is consumed.

Yes, there are recalls of meat, eggs, romaine lettuce, etc occurring all the time, but there are also agencies that inspect, test and discover the pathogens that have contaminated those foods and once they are discovered, a process swings into action to remove that contaminated food from stores.

No such process occurs in the wild, and I'm mystified why people can be told that their romaine lettuce might be contaminated (enough to make them sick or possibly kill them) and they immediately toss it out, but when told that wild game might be contaminated they shrug their shoulders and say "hey, that disease has been around for years, so what?"

All I'm saying is that the disease is out there, and you should get your wild game tested before you eat it.

95XL883
Member
# Posted: 22 Feb 2019 23:20
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"No such process occurs in the wild, and I'm mystified why people can be told that their romaine lettuce might be contaminated (enough to make them sick or possibly kill them) and they immediately toss it out, but when told that wild game might be contaminated they shrug their shoulders and say "hey, that disease has been around for years, so what?"

All I'm saying is that the disease is out there, and you should get your wild game tested before you eat it."

You are assuming that everybody threw out their romaine lettuce but eat untested venison. We didn't throw our romaine out; we thoroughly washed it. Then ate just a little then the rest a couple of days later. It was delicious.

I can maybe see testing white tail deer venison if one is harvested in an area where CWD is known to be present. But there are still large portions of the country where there is no CWD. My hunting area is one of those. I don't see why I should even consider spending money on a test when there is no CWD present, especially when there are no known cases of human infection after more than 50 years of the prions being present.

I was reading a similar thread on another site and came upon an interesting real life case. In 2006, venison was fed to a large group (between 200 and 250) of people. After the feeding, it was discovered that the venison was CWD positive. So here we are 13 years later and not one of those people has become ill because of that food. I'm just not going to live my life scared because of some imagined threat. I'll save my worrying for a real threat, the guy who threatened to kill me and my parents.

xtolekbananx
Member
# Posted: 23 Feb 2019 09:32
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URL

Just found this. I personally wouldn't eat any animal that look sick, wierd or suspicious and I basically live on vension.

fiftyfifty
Member
# Posted: 19 Aug 2019 20:25 - Edited by: fiftyfifty
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Here's an update on the CWD situation in Minnesota:
https://www.minnpost.com/second-opinion/2019/08/qa-u-of-ms-michael-osterholm-calls-fo r-national-leadership-to-address-cwd/

Basically CWD is spreading fast, and in some areas of Wisconsin over half of dear test positive. The prion seems to be mutating to be more infectious with time, making a 2019 version of the prion possibly more likely to infect humans than in the past. Also CWD prions are found in high concentrations in muscle (meat) unlike mad cow that is found only in the brain and spinal cord.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 19 Aug 2019 21:10 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
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Wow, tried to post and said I was not allowed. So testing. Might of been my connection.
this is a test
OK, suspect it was a connection issue

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