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The Logical View ^ | 9/26/02 | MARK A SITY

Posted on 09/26/2002 8:17:11 AM PDT by


Last fall Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was discovered for the first time in WI. It has been present in the west for years, but this is the first time it has crossed the Mississippi River. It is a disease very similar to "mad cow disease", only it affects deer instead. Deer hunters (including myself) are very concerned about eating the meat from infected animals. The best known defense for limiting the spread of this disease is to thin the deer population. Having a lot of hunters in the woods and swamps is the easiest, cheapest (actually it makes a profit for the state), most humane, and least wasteful option for doing this. However, deer license sales in WI are down 30% from last year. This will only help the problem to spread to other states.

I consider where I hunt to be safe for this season, it is far enough away from any known case; however, by next season I will not consider any area in WI safe. If I am not allowed an option to have a deer tested, I'll put the deer gun in a far back corner of the gun safe for the duration. In researching this subject I found that there is one organization that is preventing me from being able to have my deer tested at my own cost; the USDA.

Is the USDA attempting to scare off hunters? Yes, this is an inflammatory question, but one that needs to be asked. The USDA's stated objective is a safe commercial food supply; they have no vested interest in wild game. Every organization's goal is growth, if big game hunting in the USA ended there would be more demand for commercial meat such as beef and pork because hunters will not be filling their freezers with venison. This would mean a bigger budget for the USDA, more people working for them, more work for them to do. I can't help but wonder if this is not the reason they will not allow private companies to test for CWD. When this first hit WI, my first thought was to allow veterinarians to test deer for hunters; they have all the equipment (so I thought), and most of the training. I was wondering why such a solution was being blocked, and by who. I went to the Whitetails Unlimited web site, and discovered this page, . This told me who, but not why; which I had to infer. Perhaps it is just a desire to keep their monopoly on this testing process, or perhaps it is something more sinister. Either way, the USDA stance does not promote the public good.

In addition, limiting the availability of testing to a few government run sites increases the costs by limiting the supply and increasing transportation costs. It also limits the number of hunters in the woods and swamps by scaring them off. I will not feed my family meat that is suspect, so why would I hunt for suspect meat? Why will out of state hunters come to WI to hunt suspect meat? Heck, I just might go to KY next year to hunt pigs instead; I know they are safe as long as you cook it fully (and that you get that ticked off boar before he gets you!). Maybe I'll go to PA for deer, where the herd is safe for a couple of years. Maybe I'll save up my hunting money for a trip up to AK for moose.

The one thing I will not do, however, is to hunt for deer in an area where this disease is known to exist without an option to know if it is safe to feed to my family. The refusal of the USDA to allow private citizens to have their deer tested is not only elitist, but unconscionable and self-serving. Not only will they not allow private companies to learn how to do the recommended test, they will not allow us to send our deer to USDA labs; not enough capacity. Where does this leave the hunter? Their stance will allow this disease to spread all the way to NY state and Georgia within 5 years, since eastern deer herds are much more dense than the herds west of the river. It may be seen on the east coast even sooner, since many hunters will be putting their guns away.

This situation should have been addressed when it was first found in the US, after a test developed. Those areas that were infected could have been granted special hunts, with sharp-shooters coming in after to totally eliminate all suspect animals. This would have eradicated the disease. It is not too late to do so on this side of the river; but soon it will be, if pressure isn't put on the USDA to get out of the way and release their monopoly power over this testing process. I'd willingly pay a vet $50 to test a deer for me, and with competition for my business, I'd get the results in a few days rather than the weeks the USDA takes. This would keep me in the swamp in future years. At the moment, this looks like my last season.

Any suggestions on where to go in northern KY for wild pigs?


TOPICS: Editorial; Extended News; Government; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: abuseofpower; cwd; deer; hunting; scare; usda; wi
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We can stop the spread of this disease on this side of the river, but we need to act quickly. If hunters in WI don't take to the field this season to thin the herds, it will be much harder to contain, if not impossible. We really need a total kill in the infected areas. Without that, herds across the eastern part of the nation will be faced with a devistating disease that is always fatal. This is a call to action. If you don't know how to contact your Senator and House Member, go here to my page (the URL above) and click on "LINKS". If you live east of the river, and hunt; you have a vested interest in keeping this disease on the other side of the river! The USDA is the biggest road block; let's tear it down! Oooops, I mean let's tear down the road block, not the USDA! Much of what they do I respect as a former meat cutter (even if their meat grading system is totally outdated; don't ask - let's not get bogged down in side issues).

It is time for a letter writing FREEP action.


PS. To any anti-hunters here; CWD is a disease that affects the brain. Deer are some of the most skitish critters on the planet. But a deer that has an advanced case will not even run from a gun shot. It will just stand there because it has become so stupid as to not know it is in danger. Or perhaps, it is just wishing for an end to the confusion and pain? Even PETA nuts should be in favor of eliminating this threat to the herds. We can sort out our meat issues later. Although, perhaps the PETA and ALF/ELF types already have CWD? That would explain alot.

1 posted on 09/26/2002 8:17:11 AM PDT by
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The problem is in the cerebral spinal fluid transfering prions...(thats what I've heard)
The butchers in our area are starting to refuse whole (deer) carcases and will only cut de-boned meat.
I can imagine when they are cutting up a couple of hundred deer a day...the saws are going to cut through spines sooner or later and spray the adjacent meat with infected material...
I live on the edge of the infected area...and am not going to hunt this you are not allowed to inspect the meat before you have tagged it...and if it is infected will I have to pay for its disposal in a hazmat waste site....
no thanks...I may go back home and hunt north of hwy 8 but that as you say will be risky next year...and in the meantime who wants to risk CJ disease for a taste of untested venison?
2 posted on 09/26/2002 8:26:58 AM PDT by joesnuffy
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CWD is also in the elk herds west of the Missisippi. The longer the USFW keep screwing around the worse it will get.
3 posted on 09/26/2002 8:27:07 AM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: B4Ranch
I think Elk may be where it started. I wish that there would have been more info when it was first discovered in the west. But, I think it was about the same time mad cow was starting to get press; so it was a totally new thing.

It's bad enough to have to give up deer hunting, they might be around 125# of meat, but gezz; to have to give up Elk! That would be a real killer! However, if we were allowed an option to test the critter....

On this side of the river; we still have a chance to wipe it out. Sorry to say it is too late by you; very sorry - heck my adopted home state is AK! It's personal on BOTH sides of the river for me! I'm only still here for family considerations. I made Carla read James Mitchner's book "ALASKA" before I'd propose and told her that when I say it is time; we're gone!

To quote the one we both hate; "I feel your pain" - but in this case - I mean it! I'm an Alaskan in my soul. There is no way to prevent this disease from getting there, if it hasn't already.

But gezz, give the hunters a chance to know their meat is safe BEFORE they feed it to their families!


4 posted on 09/26/2002 8:39:07 AM PDT by
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To: joesnuffy
This is not really "CJ disease" (ie, Creutzfeldt-Jakob), which is a similar disease of humans, due to what is apparently a spontaneous and very rare mutation (although there is a genetic susceptibility to having this happen).

So far as is known, after more than 30 years of study of Chronic Wasting Disease of deer and elk, it is NOT transmissible to humans.

5 posted on 09/26/2002 8:58:09 AM PDT by RANGERAIRBORNE
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I haven't researched this in a while, but about two years ago, I read a lot about it, and this is what I recall:
- CWD was discovered as early as the mid-60's in the West, in penned stock (elk).

- Over most of the 35 years the number of confirmed cases remained very small. The recent increase might just be due to better detection, more testing, and increased awareness.

- the disease is protein related, simply killing the infected animals will not 'cure' an area. In the earliest instances, even after the infected stock were gone for over six months, new stock in the same pens developed the disease.

- at some point (in Idaho, Colorado, I think), testing was required at hunter check-in stations.

- The specific strain infecting Elk was thought to not be easily transferred to whitetail or muledeer (I forget why they said that), but there were cases.

- AT THAT TIME, no human had ever caught the disease by eating infected meat. Even in England, the people infected were rose gardeners who had been handling bone meal from infected cattle.

I think testing should be mandatory and openly provided by whomever - vets, state P&W/F&G, etc. at cost. I also think they should institute strict controls on the tranfer of penned stock (since this is where CWD is most common).

I am not aware of any cases in Texas, although I have tuned out for a while. Many ranches do import/transfer penned stock as part of their wildlife management program. Texas needs to very tightly control/monitor that, or we will end up with infected deer in the Texas wild.

6 posted on 09/26/2002 9:01:49 AM PDT by TexasGunRunner
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My question about all this wasting disease is....... who has actually confirmed infections? Is it the veterinarians?
Apparantly not since the option to take a suspected deer to them for testing is not available. So now it boils down to who is saying the infection is present. It seems that only the uSDA has the ability to confirm the infection.

But the USDA is also a wing of government which promotes safe healthy commercial foods and not wild game (which has no hormones and is safer). Can we really believe that the USDA even has an interest in wild game even tho it somehow has taken an interest in wasting disease, but not to the point of protecting hunters and consumers of wild game.

It seems that somehow if there is a way to reduce hunters of wild game with scare tactics, they can reduce the credible ownership of appropriate firearms by eliminating the need. Do not doubt the agenda of anti gun radicals in using back door approaches to dismantle the 2nd Amendment and the freedoms, including hunting, that go with that right. Diminishing hunting also appeases PETA and other radical environmental organizations who want to keep people out of the woods.

I do believe there might be infections in certain herds of deer and elk. But the best way to eliminate the transfer of disease is to reduce the herd sizes substantially so to allow better monitoring of the remaining herds. But keep in mind, the media might exagerate the numbers of alleged infections as a scare tactic to discourage hunters. I have heard Wisconsin has had some problems with imposition of unconstitutional firearms laws in the past year. With that mentality present in government, be prepared for anything.

By the way, Missouri has some of the best deer hunting in America. Especially the northern part of the state. And to my knowledge, I have not heard of any infections in the deer population. Season is Nov 16th to NOV 26th this year.
7 posted on 09/26/2002 9:05:42 AM PDT by o_zarkman44
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To: joesnuffy
We are certainly on the same page here. Sounds like you are in WI, but I'm not sure where Hwy 8 is. I hunt in Jackson Swamp (M77). I trust that area this year, but won't next year. Perhaps, if it isn't too late to get the license, we could organize a drive through the area? Really, it is our last chance if the USDA doesn't get off their power kick!

Yes, they say the spinal cord is the conduit for the disease; and even if I shot a deer and had the ability to test it, I would not take it to a butcher. The potential risk is too great. Much is unkown, too much.

But, let's take a look at reality here. I was a meat cutter for almost a decade. The pirons are, from what I have been able to asertain, all through the meat, they just concentrate in the spinal fluid. Is a butcher shop going to wash their grinder between deer? Nope. At $10-15/hr they can't afford to. There will always be some mixing of meat. This is why pork is ground last; they HAVE to wash it before grinding anything else.

I have my own grinder, it's a small one that I got through Cabelas (sp? Sorry!). But, given my history; I like to take the meat through the entire process myself.

With the situation in WI, I would not take any meat to a butcher; there is too much chance of a mix of meat; and who knows how the guy who's deer was ground before you treated his - or if he bothered to test it (assuming we get the USDA to let go of their strangle-hold on testing).

Oh, and as far as the saw, do you have any idea how hard it is to clean off the blade on a meat band saw? The entire thing needs to be dis-assembled. In the past it wasn't a major problem, but now....

Mark A Sity

8 posted on 09/26/2002 9:06:03 AM PDT by
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To: TexasGunRunner
I have a fairly extensive file on this, but not much time to dig into it today! Anyway, you seem to have the facts pretty well straight. It seems to me, though, that CWD was found in mule deer in Colorado originally, by a University of Iowa Veterinarian. These wouldd have been wild deer- although the disease spreads pretty readily when animals are penned.

Again, there is NO evidence I have ever seen that humans can contract this disease- although it appears that every mammalian species that has been intensively studied for prion disease has some variant of this, they tend to be very specific to each species. The exception, of course, is "Mad Cow Disease", which has made the jump from (probably) sheep to cattle to humans.

9 posted on 09/26/2002 9:17:15 AM PDT by RANGERAIRBORNE
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US 8 runs through Rhinelander, Prentice, Barron and St. Croix Falls.
10 posted on 09/26/2002 9:17:41 AM PDT by steveegg
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To: o_zarkman44
I live in WI. Deer hunting is a state institution. I have every reason to belive that this is real, and it is here. I have suspicions about some activities of the WI DNR, but deer hunting (and the revenues from it) is the the life blood of that organization.

The WI DNR would never be a party to a PETA/ALF scam. Plus, were this to be a "gun control" scam; I have no doubt that the NRA (of which I am a life member), would expose it.

Let's not get too conspiritorial here! It's bad enough as I put the situation!


11 posted on 09/26/2002 9:35:26 AM PDT by
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I have seen a report of a guy in either CO or MT who died from eating infected elk. Will I risk my 5 1/2 yr old daughter? I think not!

I'll go for other game, or go to "safe" areas.

All I am asking for is the right to pay to have critters tested; without the USDA stopping me from doing so!


12 posted on 09/26/2002 9:38:48 AM PDT by
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To: steveegg
Check M77. It's just N/W of Milw. Not enough hunters to get the deer scared and moving, and it's (so far) a safe zone. It has easy rules to, since it is a metro unit; and they really want to cut down the herd (even before CWD).

It is a shotgun only zone though.

Mark A Sity

13 posted on 09/26/2002 9:42:44 AM PDT by
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Thanks, but I just fish.
14 posted on 09/26/2002 9:59:55 AM PDT by steveegg
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The problem is that since ALL mammals appear to harbor some variant of this prion disease (thought to be due to mis-folding of a brain protein, which then cannot be eliminated by the normal "clean-up" processes in the brain), you would theoretically be unsafe eating ANY meat at all. After all, prion disease is well-documented in squirrels, mink, and sheep in the U.S. (look up "scrapie"), yet we are not all dead.

Also, since something like 100 cases of HUMAN CJD occur each year in the U.S., it is likely that a single case in someone who ate elk (or squirrel, or Jello) is coincidental. The proteins can be differentiated, though, and I am sure that if ANY human case of "Chronic Wasting Disease" had been found, I would have seen it.

15 posted on 09/26/2002 10:09:15 AM PDT by RANGERAIRBORNE
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I hate to say this but I heard about the problem in the CO elk after my brother-in-law was out there on a hunt.

You know it always gets worse before it gets better. I'm afraid you might have to shoot a lot of deer and dispose of the meat, unless you can avoid the diseased stuff.

I heard the similar CJD in England was NOT XMIT'd by eating bad meat. The stomach acids should kill any proteins before they ever get to the blood stream.

We need more study and a solution that will get the herds back to health.

Remember the clowns who sold billions of drugs a year to treat ulcers, caused by a bacteria -- something you could see with any good microscope. We need somebody who can treat this and eliminate it.

16 posted on 09/26/2002 1:38:21 PM PDT by ReaganIsRight
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To: ReaganIsRight
Of course, given the competition in Colorado for elk permits and the general feeling of Coloradans about "furrieners," maybe they are furthering urban (rural?) legends to increase their own chances of drawing a permit.

Seriously though, last I checked (last season), the demand for elk permits in Colorado, Wyoming, and Idaho was very high. If somebody had contracted the human version of CWD, that would have made big news throughout the hunting world because of the number of guides operating in those states.

17 posted on 09/26/2002 2:18:02 PM PDT by TexasGunRunner
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To: 20yearvet
And BOOKbump
18 posted on 09/26/2002 6:03:19 PM PDT by S.O.S121.500
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I understand that in Illinois all deer checked in are tested.

I buy elk from a ranch in western Illinois, They are tested when they are killed.

Illinois is not allowing ranches to import any new animals (deer or elk), but deer cross the mississippi sometimes, and wild elk have been sighted in some of the state's larger parks.

19 posted on 09/26/2002 8:16:33 PM PDT by Ford Fairlane
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To: ReaganIsRight
That is exactly what I have been saying, about avoiding the diseased deer. The USDA won't allow us to get them tested! This means that we don't know, which means that many hunters won't be going out; which means that we won't be able to thin the herds....
20 posted on 09/27/2002 4:50:58 AM PDT by
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