Chronic Wasting Disease Found in Captive Deer Missouri
Posted Oct 21 2011 11:21am
October 20, 2011
Chronic Wasting Disease Found in Captive Deer
The Missouri departments of Agriculture, Conservation and Health and Senior Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that a captive white-tailed deer in Macon County, Missouri has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD is a neurological disease found in deer, elk and moose.
"We have a plan in place and our team is actively working to ensure that this situation is addressed quickly and effectively," said State Veterinarian Dr. Linda Hickam. "Fortunately there is no evidence that CWD poses a risk to humans, non cervid livestock, household pets or food safety."
The animal that tested positive for CWD was a captive white-tailed deer inspected as part of the State's CWD surveillance and testing program. Preliminary tests were conducted by the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.
Upon receiving the confirmed CWD positive, Missouri's departments of Agriculture, Conservation and Health and Senior Services initiated their CWD Contingency Plan. The plan was developed in 2002 by the Cervid Health Committee, a task force comprised of veterinarians, animal health officers and conservation officers from USDA, MDA, MDC and DHSS working together to mitigate challenges associated with CWD.
In February 2010 a case of CWD was confirmed in Linn County on a captive hunting preserve operated by the same entity, Heartland Wildlife Ranches, LLC. The Linn County facility was depopulated and no further infection was identified at that facility. The current case was identified through increased surveillance required by the management plan implemented from the previous CWD incident.
CWD is transmitted by live animal to animal contact or soil to animal contact. The disease was first recognized in 1967 in captive mule deer in the Colorado Division of Wildlife captive wildlife research facility in Fort Collins, Colorado. CWD has been documented in deer and/or elk in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the Canadian Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. There has been no evidence that the disease can be transmitted to humans.
"Missouri's proactive steps to put a testing protocol in place and create a contingency plan years ago is proving beneficial. We are in a solid position to follow pre-established steps to ensure Missouri's valuable whitetail deer resource remains healthy and strong," said Jason Sumners Missouri's Deer Biologist, Missouri Department of Conservation.
For more information regarding CWD, please contact Missouri's State Veterinarian Dr. Linda Hickam at (573) 751-3377.
Mr R.N. Elmhirst Chairman British Deer Farmers Association Holly Lodge Spencers Lane BerksWell Coventry CV7 7BZ
Dear Mr Elmhirst,
CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB DISEASE (CJD) SURVEILLANCE UNIT REPORT
Thank you for your recent letter concerning the publication of the third annual report from the CJD Surveillance Unit. I am sorry that you are dissatisfied with the way in which this report was published.
The Surveillance Unit is a completely independant outside body and the Department of Health is committed to publishing their reports as soon as they become available. In the circumstances it is not the practice to circulate the report for comment since the findings of the report would not be amended. In future we can ensure that the British Deer Farmers Association receives a copy of the report in advance of publication.
The Chief Medical Officer has undertaken to keep the public fully informed of the results of any research in respect of CJD. This report was entirely the work of the unit and was produced completely independantly of the the Department.
The statistical results reqarding the consumption of venison was put into perspective in the body of the report and was not mentioned at all in the press release. Media attention regarding this report was low key but gave a realistic presentation of the statistical findings of the Unit. This approach to publication was successful in that consumption of venison was highlighted only once by the media ie. in the News at one television proqramme.
I believe that a further statement about the report, or indeed statistical links between CJD and consumption of venison, would increase, and quite possibly give damaging credence, to the whole issue. From the low key media reports of which I am aware it seems unlikely that venison consumption will suffer adversely, if at all.