Mark Nale - Afield | Chronic wasting disease makes it into nearby counties
Published: March 17, 2013 Updated 2 hours ago
The sad and probably inevitable news is here — chronic wasting disease has been discovered in wild white-tailed deer in Pennsylvania. Test results from samples collected last fall by the Pennsylvania Game Commission indicated that this always-fatal disease was present in the brain tissue from three wild deer — two bucks and a doe.
Commission executive director Carl Roe had been known to say, “The disease is already here, we just haven’t found it yet.”
Well, it has been found.
Two of the deer testing positive were shot in Blair County, and the third in Bedford County. All three were harvested during Pennsylvania’s regular rifle deer season last fall. Bedford County is just north of where CWD-infected deer have been discovered during recent years in Maryland and West Virginia. According to PGC spokesman Joe Neville, Bedford and other southern tier counties were on his agency’s list for areas receiving a higher level of CWD testing because of their proximity to Maryland. Blair County was not included on that list, but it is just north of Bedford County and borders on Centre County. This discovery is likely to have a negative impact on the deer population and deer hunting in Centre and surrounding counties.
The PGC announced the findings on March 1, and held a Harrisburg news conference to provide more details on March 4. At the new conference, the three CWD-positive-testing deer were identified as follows: an adult buck shot in Frankstown Township, Blair County (southeast of Altoona), an adult doe taken in Freedom Township, Blair County (along I-99 near East Freedom), and a 1 1/2-year-old buck shot in South Woodbury Township, Bedford County (near New Enterprise).
In every state where chronic wasting disease exists, it has been first connected to farm-raised deer — those white-tailed deer that are raised in captivity for their venison or, more likely, for so-called “hunts” that occur within a fenced area. Therefore, it is not likely a coincidence that CWD has been discovered in Blair and Bedford counties. These two counties alone have over 110 deer and elk farms registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. This is approximately ten percent of all the deer farms in the state.
Neville brought this fact to my attention and also noted that deer farmers frequently move deer between facilities as a result of sales or trades. Although he did not directly criticize the Department of Agriculture, which has jurisdiction over captive deer, he questioned the lack of accurate record keeping.
“It is just wide open. Records are poor at times, making it difficult to trace where and when a particular deer was at a deer farm,” Neville said.
Rumors abound about deer escaping from one or more of these 100-plus facilities during the past year. Neville confirmed that an unspecified number of deer had, in fact, escaped from a Bedford County deer facility last year. According to Neville, several of those tagged deer were subsequently shot by commission field officers, but all were not shot or captured.
This is not an isolated case. Early last summer a captive doe named “Purple 4,” because of her purple ear tag bearing a number 4, escaped from an unlicensed deer facility near Alexandria, in Huntingdon County. That deer had originated from the New Oxford, Adams County deer farm, where a captive deer died from CWD last fall. Purple 4 was first sold to Freedom Whitetails in Freedom Township, Blair County, and then sold to unlicensed deer farmer Gordon Trimer, who lives between Alexandria and Barree. Again — perhaps no coincidence — Freedom Township is one of the Blair County townships where a wild deer has now tested positive for CWD.
According to Neville, some of the escaped Bedford County deer had also been connected to “Purple 4.” That is, they may have been housed at the same deer farm where Purple 4 had been penned — making the transmission of CWD possible between deer.
Signs of chronic wasting disease include weight loss, excessive salivation, increased drinking and urination, and abnormal behavior such as stumbling, trembling and lethargic movement — they just “waste” away. Infected deer and elk may also allow unusually close approach by humans or natural predators. Anyone seeing a deer with these symptoms should report it to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
The disease is caused by a prion, and there is no known treatment or vaccine. Prions are rogue protein molecules that infect the nerve cord and brains of diseased cervids — deer, elk and moose. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the term “prions” refers to abnormal, pathogenic agents that are transmissible and are able to induce abnormal folding of specific normal cellular proteins called prion proteins that are found most abundantly in the brain. In the case of CWD, the prions cause brain lesions in infected deer and eventually kill the animal. CWD is spread from deer to deer through urine, saliva, and solid wastes of infected animals.
Purple 4 was eventually shot by a hunter — lab analysis did not detect CWD in its brain tissue.
According to Neville, as of March 15, the test results from all of the hunter-harvested elk and nearly 3,000 deer are now in. Only the three already-identified deer have tested positive - that is three deer in 15 years of PGC testing.
However, Neville also cautioned, “CWD was not detected in these deer and elk, which is unfortunately not the same as saying that they don’t have the disease. Current testing procedures do not detect the early stages of the disease. Since the disease develops slowly, we don’t even test six-month-old deer.”
Of course, hunters and wildlife lovers wonder… now that CWD is in the wild deer herd - where do we go from here?
According to Cal DuBrock, director of the PGC’s Bureau of Wildlife Management, no state has managed to eliminate the disease once it has taken a foothold.
“What we will be doing is managing risk factors,” DuBrock said. At the March 4 press conference, DuBrock noted that his agency was still discussing possible plans of action. He anticipates that an executive order will be issued, pertaining to these new CWD developments within the next few months.
He expects that this order will include increased surveillance of road-killed deer as well as those taken for crop damage. Other options include the banning of deer feeding and mineral licks, prohibiting the use of deer urine for hunting, and mandatory check stations for hunter-killed deer — as was done in Adams and York counties last fall.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission has scheduled a public meeting for March 20 at the Spring Cove Middle School, Roaring Spring, beginning at 7 p.m. It is expected that DuBrock, PGC Executive Director Carl Roe and representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture will be present to address public concerns and provide more information.
We can only wait and see what course of action the Commission takes. We as hunters and wildlife lovers can keep our fingers crossed and hope that no additional cases are found. Maybe we might be as lucky as the state of New York and contain this deadly disease before it becomes widespread.
Mark Nale, who lives in the Bald Eagle Valley, is a member of the PA Outdoor Writers Association. He can be reached at MarkAngler@aol.com .
please see the legal harvesting and spreading of CWD, and some history on these shooting pens and the litigation still going on in Texas and other states to approve more shooting pens and too change the oversight and regulations to the USDA (or the lack of there from), see Texas link below ;
Thursday, March 14, 2013
TEXAS DEER BREEDERS CHEER TWO NEW BILLS SB 1444 AND HB 2092 THAT COULD HELP POTENTIALLY ENHANCE CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE CWD
Saturday, February 04, 2012
Wisconsin 16 age limit on testing dead deer Game Farm CWD Testing Protocol Needs To Be Revised
Thursday, February 09, 2012
50 GAME FARMS (to date) IN USA INFECTED WITH CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE
CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE NOT DETECTED IN OHIO DEER CWD testing performed by Ohio Department of Agriculture REYNOLDSBURG, OH (March 16, 2012) – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) today announced that testing of Ohio's deer herd has found no evidence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) for the 10th straight year. CWD is a degenerative brain disease that affects elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. ...
Agreement form must be completed. Participating herds require testing on all captive cervids over 16 months of age which die, perimeter fencing to prevent ingress/egress of cervids, annual herd inventory by state or federal personnel or accredited veterinarian, herd additions allowed from herd of equal or greater status, official ID on all animals 12 months of age and older and animals leaving the premises under 12 months of age.
CWD monitoring of captive white-tailed deer is voluntary.
CWD Testing Program For Captive Cervids
Agreement form must be completed. Participating herds require testing on all captive cervids over 12 months of age which die, perimeter fencing to prevent ingress/egress of cervids, annual herd inventory by state or federal personnel or approved accredited veterinarian, herd additions allowed from herd of equal or greater status, official ID on all animals 12 months of age and older and animals leaving the premises under 12 months of age. CWD monitoring of captive white-tailed deer is voluntary.
OHIO 1501:31-19-04 Cervidae regulations.
Interesting thread here on Ohio ;
OH deer farms are now under Dept of Ag
Whitepine Whitetails Member
Join Date: Oct 2009 Posts: 33
Quote: Originally Posted by Jeff23
Forgive my ignorance, but just to clarify what you've written: Have you been allowed to sell deer without being in some type of monitoring program up to now? Have you needed to have all deer tagged up to now? On a slightly different note- what did you do with the two bucks that cost over $400 each, and what happened? I can't imagine just darting deer, tagging and testing (drawing blood) would average out to $250 each, but it depends how long the vet is there. I believe the other poster was saying that it cost $250 for the vet to come out and do the herd inspection.
Yes, I could sell in Ohio, no testing.
No tagging requirements.
The two bucks that died after the vet worked on them, were dragged back in the corner of my field, and were buzzard and coyote bait. I never thought about it until now, but I wonder if the tranq. had any effect on the scavengers.
Got a quote from the vet for 12 deer, $1500, he provides everything. Add that to my $5,000 yearly feed bill, and it makes it hard to break even. My labor figured at $0/ hour of course.
So here's what I am still unsure of. The ODNR paperwork I got this year, reads like the one time DNR permit is for new farmers. The AG. meeting, said only shooting preserves will deal with DNR inspections. The Ag App. says pen inspected by Vet., they wouldn't both inspect it....would they? but I read in this thread that some are being inspected.
Monday, June 11, 2012
OHIO Captive deer escapees and non-reporting
Friday, March 16, 2012
OHIO TURNS OVER CERVID GAME FARMS (and CWD risk) TO DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, GOD HELP THEM
As Passed by the Senate 129th General Assembly Regular Session 2011-2012 Am. H. B. No. 389
some history on Pennsylvania and CWD ;
Friday, March 01, 2013
Pennsylvania CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE FOUND IN BLAIR AND BEDFORD COUNTIES GAME COMMISSION TO HOLD CWD NEWS CONFERENCE MONDAY, MARCH 4
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Pennsylvania Confirms First Case CWD Adams County Captive Deer Tests Positive
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
PENNSYLVANIA Second Adams County Deer Tests Positive for Chronic Wasting Disease
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
PA Department of Agriculture investigating possible 2nd case of chronic wasting disease
Thursday, November 01, 2012
PA GAME COMMISSION TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETING TO DISCUSS CWD Release #128-12
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
PENNSYLVANIA 2012 THE GREAT ESCAPE OF CWD
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
PENNSYLVANIA 2012 THE GREAT ESCAPE OF CWD INVESTIGATION MOVES INTO LOUISIANA and INDIANA
Pennsylvania CWD number of deer exposed and farms there from much greater than first thought
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 10:44 PM Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 11:33 PM
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
PA Captive deer from CWD-positive farm roaming free
HERE, we see why these shooting pen owners some much like the USDA oversight of these game farms ;
USDA TO PGC ONCE CAPTIVES ESCAPE "it‘s no longer its business.”
problem solved $$$...TSS
Sunday, January 06, 2013
USDA TO PGC ONCE CAPTIVES ESCAPE "it‘s no longer its business.”
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE CWD WISCONSIN Almond Deer (Buckhorn Flats) Farm Update DECEMBER 2011
The CWD infection rate was nearly 80%, the highest ever in a North American captive herd.
RECOMMENDATION: That the Board approve the purchase of 80 acres of land for $465,000 for the Statewide Wildlife Habitat Program in Portage County and approve the restrictions on public use of the site.
Form 1100-001 (R 2/11) NATURAL RESOURCES BOARD AGENDA ITEM
SUBJECT: Information Item: Almond Deer Farm Update
FOR: DECEMBER 2011 BOARD MEETING TUESDAY TO BE PRESENTED BY TITLE: Tami Ryan, Wildlife Health Section Chief
what happened to the PA deer from the CWD index heard that went to Louisiana ??
everybody still mum on that one too $$$
or Indiana ??
Friday, February 08, 2013
Pennsylvania Additional Deer Farms Released from Chronic Wasting Disease CWD Quarantines
Friday, February 15, 2013
PENNSYLVANIA CWD UPDATE 9 FARMS ARE STILL UNDER QUARANTINE
Friday, February 08, 2013
*** Behavior of Prions in the Environment: Implications for Prion Biology
Friday, August 31, 2012
COMMITTEE ON CAPTIVE WILDLIFE AND ALTERNATIVE LIVESTOCK and CWD 2009-2012 a review
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Captive Deer Breeding Legislation Overwhelmingly Defeated During 2012 Legislative Session
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
*** A Growing Threat How deer breeding could put public trust wildlife at risk
Friday, November 09, 2012
*** Chronic Wasting Disease CWD in cervidae and transmission to other species
Sunday, November 11, 2012
*** Susceptibilities of Nonhuman Primates to Chronic Wasting Disease November 2012
Friday, December 14, 2012
*** Susceptibility Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in wild cervids to Humans 2005 - December 14, 2012
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
*** A closer look at prion strains Characterization and important implications Prion
7:2, 99–108; March/April 2013; © 2013 Landes Bioscience
P.S. PLEASE NOTE ;
From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2013 11:37 AM
Subject: re-Mark Nale - Afield | Chronic wasting disease makes it into nearby counties
re-Mark Nale - Afield | Chronic wasting disease makes it into nearby counties
greetings Mr. Nale,
as i agree with most everything you said in your article, and i was most interested and disturbed in what Mr. Neville had to say about the deer situation with cwd and shooting pens and escapees there from, I thought I should write and tell you that what you wrote here ;
> In every state where chronic wasting disease exists, it has been first connected to farm-raised deer
while this has been true in many CWD documented states, and the fact that science has shown that these shooting pens are a high CWD risk factor, there has been states where CWD was first documented in the wild. but like Texas, if you don’t look, you don’t find, thus the shooting pen industry is anyones guess. It took New Mexico forcing (humiliating) Texas to finally test and find CWD.
anyway, I thought I might correct you there with that one statement, unless you have heard something I am not aware of?
you might want to read this in full, if you have not already ;
2012 CDC REPORT ON CWD
Volume 18, Number 3—March 2012
Occurrence, Transmission, and Zoonotic Potential of Chronic Wasting Disease
Prevalence and Surveillance
Originally recognized only in southeastern Wyoming and northeastern Colorado, USA, CWD was reported in Canada in 1996 and Wisconsin in 2001 and continues to be identified in new geographic locations (Figure 1, panel A). CWD has been identified in free-ranging cervids in 15 US states and 2 Canadian provinces and in ≈100 captive herds in 15 states and provinces and in South Korea (Figure 1, panel B).
CWD surveillance programs are now in place in almost all US states and Canadian provinces (Figure 2, panel A). More than 1,060,000 free-ranging cervids have reportedly been tested for CWD (Figure 2, panel B) and ≈6,000 cases have been identified (Figure 2, panel C) according to data from state and provincial wildlife agencies.
Testing of captive cervids is routine in most states and provinces, but varies considerably in scope from mandatory testing of all dead animals to voluntary herd certification programs or mandatory testing of only animals suspected of dying of CWD.
Long-term effects of CWD on cervid populations and ecosystems remain unclear as the disease continues to spread and prevalence increases. In captive herds, CWD might persist at high levels and lead to complete herd destruction in the absence of human culling. Epidemiologic modeling suggests the disease could have severe effects on free-ranging deer populations, depending on hunting policies and environmental persistence (8,9). CWD has been associated with large decreases in free-ranging mule deer populations in an area of high CWD prevalence (Boulder, Colorado, USA) (5). In addition, CWD-infected deer are selectively preyed upon by mountain lions (5), and may also be more vulnerable to vehicle collisions (10). Long-term effects of the disease may vary considerably geographically, not only because of local hunting policies, predator populations, and human density (e.g., vehicular collisions) but also because of local environmental factors such as soil type (11) and local cervid population factors, such as genetics and movement patterns (S.E. Saunders, unpub. data).
Controlling the spread of CWD, especially by human action, is a more attainable goal than eradication. Human movement of cervids has likely led to spread of CWD in facilities for captive animals, which has most likely contributed to establishment of new disease foci in free-ranging populations (Figure 1, panel A). Thus, restrictions on human movement of cervids from disease-endemic areas or herds continue to be warranted. Anthropogenic factors that increase cervid congregation such as baiting and feeding should also be restricted to reduce CWD transmission. Appropriate disposal of carcasses of animals with suspected CWD is necessary to limit environmental contamination (20), and attractive onsite disposal options such as composting and burial require further investigation to determine contamination risks. The best options for lowering the risk for recurrence in facilities for captive animals with outbreaks are complete depopulation, stringent exclusion of free-ranging cervids, and disinfection of all exposed surfaces. However, even the most extensive decontamination measures may not be sufficient to eliminate the risk for disease recurrence (20; S.E. Saunders et al. unpub. data)
kind regards, terry