What is CWD?


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What is CWD?

  1. 1. What is CWD? No Risk to Humans Documented Chronic wasting disease is a rare neurological disease The World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for that’s been found in a small percentage of deer and elk Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, in portions of Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, many universities and about a dozen state public health Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, agencies have studied chronic wasting disease. None Wisconsin, and Wyoming, as well as in the Canadian have found a link between it and any neurological provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta. disease affecting humans. A progressive disease, it attacks the brains of deer and Health officials do, however, elk, causing the animals to become emaciated, display advise hunters not to consume abnormal behavior, lose bodily functions and die. meat from animals known to Clinical symptoms also may include loss of appetite, be infected with the disease. increased drinking, excessive drooling and urination, Also, hunters should take nervousness, teeth grinding, and drooping head and simple precautions when field ears. Some of these symptoms can be caused by other dressing deer or elk— diseases, and cannot be used to positively determine particularly in or near areas whether an animal has chronic wasting disease. where chronic wasting disease has been found. Scientists suspect that CWD is transferred from one deer or elk to another through contact with saliva, Understanding CWD feces or urine, but are unsure exactly how this hap- pens. People cannot get the disease by being near Chronic wasting disease belongs infected animals, walking through areas known to to a family of diseases known as have infected deer or elk, drinking the water in infect- transmissible spongiform ed areas, or any other normal daily activity. encephalopathies (TSE). While it shares certain characteristics with other TSEs, chronic wasting disease is a distinct condition apparently only affecting members of the cervid or deer family. Creutzfeldt-Jacob, a largely sporadic TSE disease affecting about one in a million people worldwide, and Variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob, which was linked to the mad cow outbreak in England, have not been shown to be linked to or caused by CWD.
  2. 2. General Precautions Safe Field Dressing Transporting Harvests Public health officials recommend taking four general Experts also recommend the following field dressing Several states have established precautions for deer and elk in or near areas where precautions for deer and elk in or near areas where regulations regarding the transporting CWD has been found: chronic wasting disease has been found: of deer and elk from areas where CWD cases have been confirmed. 1. Avoid consuming brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, 1. Wear rubber gloves when field dressing carcasses. Check with your state game and tonsils and lymph nodes of harvested animals. fish agency for policy, then confirm 2. Do not use household knives or utensils for transportation requirements with 2. Do not eat meat from any animal that appears to be field dressing. Instead use equipment made for the local game and fish officials sick or tests positive for chronic wasting disease. this purpose. immediately responsible for the area in which you will be hunting. 3. Contact your local game and fish department (See 3. Minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues, contact information below) if you see or harvest an and avoid sawing through spine or skull. Should you animal that appears to be sick. decide to take the skull cap, clean it thoroughly with a 50/50 bleach-and-water solution. 4. If your deer is tested for chronic wasting disease, request and wait for test results before eating 4. Remove all internal organs and internal fat. Normal meat. Please note that most state agencies will be field dressing and boning out of carcass will remove taking a limited number of samples to test for the most, if not all, of these body parts. Cutting away all presence of CWD. fatty tissue will remove the remaining lymph nodes. 5. Bone out meat from your animal. Tonsils: located on 6. Consult your local game and fish department (See either side of the upper throat area, contact information below) regarding proper disposal about the size of hide, brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils, of a thumbnail bones and head. Lymph Nodes: mostly 7. Thoroughly clean and then sanitize field dressing located adjacent to gastrointestinal tract instruments with a 50/50 bleach-and-water solution. from throat downward Knives and other small items should soak in the 50/50 solution for an hour. 8. Wash hands after field dressing, cleaning and sanitizing equipment. 9. Request individual boned-out processing of animals that you harvest, to avoid introduction of meat from Spleen: a flat organ other animals. smaller that the liver and tightly attached 10. SCI recommends having venison from areas to the rumen; its where CWD has been found processed locally so center is deep purple or magenta only packaged meat travels across state lines.