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Everyone laughs while chronic wasting looms
Capital Times ^ | 11-26-06 | Rob Zaleski

Posted on 11/26/2006 10:56:07 AM PST by SJackson

John Stauber recently stopped at a sporting goods store in Richland Center to get his chainsaw repaired.

Earlier that day, Stauber says, the Legislative Audit Bureau reported that the Department of Natural Resources' $27 million plan to thin the state's deer herd in an attempt to eradicate chronic wasting disease has been a flop. And Stauber, director of the Madison-based Center for Media & Democracy, says most of those waiting in line to purchase deer hunting licenses were "laughing and ridiculing the DNR."

"They saw this as another public funding fiasco where know-nothing game managers are wasting money and interfering with the activity of sportsmen," Stauber surmised in an interview last week.

Stauber has similar disdain for the agency - but for different reasons. He believes the DNR needs to take far bolder action if it's ever going to slow the spread of CWD and, even more important, prevent it from possibly spreading into people.

"I'm not saying it is spreading into people. I'm not saying it will spread into people. But there's absolutely no reason why it couldn't spread into people," says Stauber, who co-authored a 1997 book ("Mad Cow USA") about the Mad Cow disease crisis in Great Britain, where more than 100 people died from a human form of the disorder after eating infected beef.

Stauber's been sounding the alarm about CWD since the fall of 2001 - several months before it was first discovered in Wisconsin in three deer that were killed near Mount Horeb. In 2003, as the disease continued to spread, he suggested in this space that the DNR take five major steps to keep it in check. None were adopted.

In fact, not only has the DNR ignored his advice - "I'm a public relations problem to them, not somebody whose brain they might tap," he suggests - but it ran ads on area radio stations in the fall of 2002 that poked fun at anyone who feared contracting the disease by eating venison.

Since then, two studies have come out that should make every hunter shudder, Stauber says.

One, by scientist Glenn Telling of the University of Kentucky, found that infectious prions have been found in the thigh muscles - a part of the animal that people commonly eat - of CWD-stricken deer.

The other, by researchers at Colorado State University, showed that infected deer can spread CWD to healthy deer through their blood and saliva.

"And that's really stunning," Stauber says. "It means there's no way anyone knows of to stop the spread of CWD."

If all that weren't disturbing enough, the British government has reported that at least two people who died of Mad Cow disease in that country were infected through the blood supply, he notes.

So where does the DNR go from here?

"They should go back to the drawing board and erase all the garbage, all the convoluted, illogical talking points that are up there," Stauber says. "Then they should start over and list stopping infected deer from entering the human food supply as their No. 1 goal. Period."

And there's only one way to do that, Stauber maintains: By testing every deer that's killed in the state and keeping every deer that tests positive for CWD out of processing plants and slaughterhouses.

"There are some good, rapid tests that have been developed with cattle that are cheap and easy to use," he says. "Somebody would have to investigate whether those tests are applicable to deer. And if they're not, the state would have to put money into developing an applicable test."

But these aren't big hurdles, Stauber says. And had the DNR taken this approach when CWD was first discovered here, the system would already be in place.

"But they haven't even considered this because the position they've taken is one of downplaying and ridiculing the human health threat. And frankly, the most cynical analysis of the DNR's intent has been borne out. Which is, bottom line, all they really care about is killing deer and managing the deer herd and selling licenses and pretending that there's no problem."

Sad fact is, "they've got no real plan ... and they've got egg on their face in front of the public," Stauber says. "So this train is wrecked, it's off the tracks, it's burning.

"And it's hard to speculate what the hell they're thinking at this point."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: chronic; chronicwasting; cwd; disease; wasting

1 posted on 11/26/2006 10:56:08 AM PST by SJackson
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To: Iowa Granny; Ladysmith; Diana in Wisconsin; JLO; sergeantdave; damncat; phantomworker; joesnuffy; ..
If you'd like to be on or off this outdoors list, largely rural midwestern issues, please FR mail me. And ping me is you see articles of interest. I can't think of much the DNR has done other than studies. Juggling seasons. My guess moving Zone T to mid December from October means more deer, not less. And the baiting ban in the south, which means more deer, not less, regardless of how one feels about baiting.

The author has a great idea.

"Then they should start over and list stopping infected deer from entering the human food supply as their No. 1 goal. Period."

And there's only one way to do that, Stauber maintains: By testing every deer that's killed in the state and keeping every deer that tests positive for CWD out of processing plants and slaughterhouses.

Except those deer are, well, dead already. Dead deer don't have fawns in the spring. That doesn't reduce the deer population either. Good for the testing labs though.

2 posted on 11/26/2006 10:59:43 AM PST by SJackson (A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user, T. Roosevelt)
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To: SJackson

Bookmarked bump


3 posted on 11/26/2006 11:04:23 AM PST by GBA (God Bless America!)
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To: SJackson

bureaucracies.


4 posted on 11/26/2006 11:04:45 AM PST by squarebarb
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To: SJackson

wasting looms is definitely an issue.

5 posted on 11/26/2006 11:17:57 AM PST by the invisib1e hand (* nuke * the * jihad *)
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To: SJackson

Important post.

I think deer, squirrels, rodents, rodent urine etc. all pose a hazard in a number of regions . . . and folks seem to be blase about all such.

I don't think we have to run around super paranoid. But wisdom is in order.

And no normal, conventional . . . actually, NO treatment I'm aware of, renders the prions involved safe.


Thx.


6 posted on 11/26/2006 11:19:06 AM PST by Quix (LET GOD ARISE AND HIS ENEMIES BE SCATTERED. LET ISRAEL CALL ON GOD AS THEIRS! & ISLAM FLUSH ITSELF)
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To: SJackson; All

Anyone know about this being a problem with PA deer? I am going hunting next week - only my second trip but I feel lucky (or unlucky...I guess it depends!).

Much obliged to anyone with insight.


7 posted on 11/26/2006 11:23:41 AM PST by NucSubs (Islam delenda est.)
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To: SJackson
CWD has one cause, and one cause only - failure of second and third offspring to get enough colostrum after birth to kick start their immune system as they reach adulthood. It has been proved in captive herds of almost all ruminants. It's just natures way of thinning the population.

They publish study after study done by people who couldn't find their own a$$ with a mirror and a flashlight. Oh - and unless the deer has some transgenic autoimmune disorder and you kill it and eat it... there is zero threat to humans.

8 posted on 11/26/2006 11:48:35 AM PST by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: SJackson
Wisconsin has a real problem with CWD and to reduce the deer in effected areas they need to "bite the bullet" and make hunting licenses FREE in those areas!

I've deer hunted all my life and I would pay nothing to hunt in an area where eating the venison may(?) kill you.

If they pizz around for a few more years until it spreads to the entire state they may wind up paying taxes for something that might have been free.
9 posted on 11/26/2006 11:49:27 AM PST by Beagle8U (Angry voters tend to make poor choices politically.....Unfortunately we all have to live with them.)
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To: xcamel
Chronic wasting disease is a prion disease, like CJD, Kuru, BSE, Scrapies and Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy. It is believed that humans are resistant to acquiring CWD by eating deer and there has been no verified case of transmission occurring but there remain theoretical concerns.
10 posted on 11/26/2006 12:15:47 PM PST by NYorkerInHouston
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To: NucSubs

"Much obliged to anyone with insight."

Read up on Prions. They can't be killed by cooking.

They are present in CWD and BSE.


11 posted on 11/26/2006 12:18:18 PM PST by taxed2death (A few billion here, a few trillion there...we're all friends right?)
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To: SJackson
Scary! We are in Missouri. My husband got two deer and they're in the freezer. Now I wonder if we should eat them?

Carolyn

12 posted on 11/26/2006 12:19:40 PM PST by CDHart ("It's too late to work within the system and too early to shoot the b@#$%^&s."--Claire Wolfe)
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To: taxed2death

Well, yes, I realize that. This is why I asked. I am wondering the level of risk asssociated with eating deer from the NE. Specifically NJ or PA.

LOVE your moniker BTW.


13 posted on 11/26/2006 12:24:26 PM PST by NucSubs (Islam delenda est.)
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To: CDHart
If your husband did his hunting in Missouri, the deer are almost certainly ok. Check out this map of CWD distribution.

If you really want to be safe though I would contact your state health department to make sure things haven't changed- the map is from 2004 after all.

14 posted on 11/26/2006 12:30:08 PM PST by NYorkerInHouston
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To: NucSubs

See the map I posted- its from 2004 so things may have changed but almost certainly the deer are safe.


15 posted on 11/26/2006 12:31:01 PM PST by NYorkerInHouston
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To: NYorkerInHouston

The map comes from an article on the CDC website

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol10no6/03-1082.htm


16 posted on 11/26/2006 12:32:33 PM PST by NYorkerInHouston
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To: CDHart

It doesn't look like CWD has spread to Missouri.

http://www.mdc.mo.gov/hunt/cwd/


17 posted on 11/26/2006 12:33:56 PM PST by MediaMole (9/11 - We have already forgotten.)
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To: NYorkerInHouston

Much obliged.


18 posted on 11/26/2006 12:41:12 PM PST by NucSubs (Islam delenda est.)
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To: NYorkerInHouston

Or so you have been told.


19 posted on 11/26/2006 12:57:50 PM PST by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: SJackson
Except those deer are, well, dead already. Dead deer don't have fawns in the spring. That doesn't reduce the deer population either. Good for the testing labs though.

The goal would be to keep CWD from jumping over to humans. That is the most important thing to keep in mind. The health of the deer is a minor consideration compared to that.

20 posted on 11/26/2006 1:04:42 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: xcamel

I'm a practicing Neurologist, trained at the Mayo Clinic where I had more than my fair share of contact with CJD and its variants. Its a bit more than "what I have been told".


21 posted on 11/26/2006 1:07:14 PM PST by NYorkerInHouston
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To: NYorkerInHouston
And I'm sure your up on your veterinary degrees too.
22 posted on 11/26/2006 1:10:32 PM PST by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: xcamel

Prion pathology is quite similar on a microscopic level in between species.

You may hold divergent view not held by the CDC, physicians and the scientists involved in this research but unless you have some evidence to back your point of view, this discussion will go nowhere.


23 posted on 11/26/2006 1:29:02 PM PST by NYorkerInHouston
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To: NYorkerInHouston
What I am saying is that a tremendous amount of study is going into what is more likely a result of an immunodeficiency related event allowing existing prion based disease predisposition to become active. Fear of human transmissible CJD is driving the research to wrongly attribute CWD as the cause of the problem, not as a result of another more basic vector.

CWD has been noted in llamas (including alpaca, guanaco, and vicuna) as a post colostrum immunotransfer failure for at least the last 2000 years in South America. The vector is not unlike the creation of MRSA in humans where insufficient levels of antibiotic (functional immunoglobulin equivalent) gave rise to to more virulent strains of the bacterium (or prion disorders in this case).

The fact that directly transmissible variants of ?SE (any variant CWD) entering the affected population would not be unexpected.

See also: http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/60213.htm

24 posted on 11/26/2006 2:15:54 PM PST by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: NYorkerInHouston; MediaMole
Thanks to both of you for your info. I guess we'll just continue to enjoy venison, at least for a while!

Carolyn

25 posted on 11/27/2006 4:53:09 AM PST by CDHart ("It's too late to work within the system and too early to shoot the b@#$%^&s."--Claire Wolfe)
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To: SJackson

= = = marker = = =


26 posted on 11/27/2006 4:30:28 PM PST by JockoManning (http://www.kad-esh.org/)
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