Sportsmen upset with agriculture’s lack of transparency
Published: Saturday, December 8, 2012, 9:46 p.m. Updated 21 hours ago
There is finally some good news on the chronic wasting disease front.
Test results for Pink 23, a captive deer from the Adams County farm where CWD was first found in Pennsylvania, have come back negative. That was a concern. The deer was on the loose in the wild for weeks after escaping from inside a fence, and many worried it might be spreading the disease.
Purple 4, a captive deer that escaped from an unlicensed farm in Huntingdon County under quarantine for its connection to the Adams County facility, has likewise been killed. Tests are being done, but no results have been announced.
In the bigger picture, hunters don’t believe they’re getting enough news of any kind, good or bad, on a consistent basis from Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture.
The Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs — the state’s largest sportsmen’s organization — sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary George Greig on Nov. 27 that takes the department to task for a “lack of timely and informative communications.”
“It leads to questions of whether the agency is doing its due diligence to investigate and manage the potential risks associated with current and future cervid farming practices and how it all relates to the potential risks to the wild cervid populations,” reads the letter, signed by Federation president Chuck Lombaerde.
The letter urges the agency to be more “transparent” and “forthright.” Others apparently want the same thing.
Kathy Davis of Speers, a volunteer with the Quality Deer Management Association and other groups, earlier filed requests under the state’s Right to Know Law in an attempt to learn more about the department’s investigation. Message boards have likewise been full of complaints from hunters upset with the agriculture department’s perceived failings, such as not revealing the escapes of Pink 23 and Purple 4 until confronted by the media and public.
The result is the Federation’s letter, which includes 16 questions, ranging from how many staff people are working on the wasting disease investigation to whether plans to share information “in a more timely and accurate manner” have been developed.
No answers have been offered. When asked, agriculture spokeswoman Samantha Elliott Krepps said, “We are reviewing the letter and responding to the PA Federation of Sportsmen’s Club. It is not fair to respond to these questions to you without giving the federation those answers first.”
She did not say when answers might be coming. The federation would clearly like them soon.
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-838-5148.
LANCET INFECTIOUS DISEASE JOURNAL
Volume 3, Number 8 01 August 2003
Tracking spongiform encephalopathies in North America
My name is Terry S Singeltary Sr, and I live in Bacliff, Texas. I lost my mom to hvCJD (Heidenhain variant CJD) and have been searching for answers ever since. What I have found is that we have not been told the truth. CWD in deer and elk is a small portion of a much bigger problem.
49-year-old Singeltary is one of a number of people who have remained largely unsatisfied after being told that a close relative died from a rapidly progressive dementia compatible with spontaneous Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). So he decided to gather hundreds of documents on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) and realised that if Britons could get variant CJD from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), Americans might get a similar disorder from chronic wasting disease (CWD)the relative of mad cow disease seen among deer and elk in the USA. Although his feverish search did not lead him to the smoking gun linking CWD to a similar disease in North American people, it did uncover a largely disappointing situation.
Singeltary was greatly demoralised at the few attempts to monitor the occurrence of CJD and CWD in the USA. Only a few states have made CJD reportable. Human and animal TSEs should be reportable nationwide and internationally, he complained in a letter to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA 2003; 285: 733). I hope that the CDC does not continue to expect us to still believe that the 85% plus of all CJD cases which are sporadic are all spontaneous, without route or source.
Until recently, CWD was thought to be confined to the wild in a small region in Colorado. But since early 2002, it has been reported in other areas, including Wisconsin, South Dakota, and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Indeed, the occurrence of CWD in states that were not endemic previously increased concern about a widespread outbreak and possible transmission to people and cattle.
To date, experimental studies have proven that the CWD agent can be transmitted to cattle by intracerebral inoculation and that it can cross the mucous membranes of the digestive tract to initiate infection in lymphoid tissue before invasion of the central nervous system. Yet the plausibility of CWD spreading to people has remained elusive.
Getting data on TSEs in the USA from the government is like pulling teeth, Singeltary argues. You get it when they want you to have it, and only what they want you to have.
SNIP...FULL TEXT ;
Thursday, December 06, 2012
Pennsylvania CWD Not Found in Pink 23 PA captive escapee, but where is Purple 4 and the other escapees ?
News for Immediate Release
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Senator Casey Urges USDA To Take Smart Steps to Implement New Measure That Could Help Combat Chronic Wasting Disease Among Deer
From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2012 11:50 AM
To: Press_office@casey.senate.gov Cc: email@example.com ; Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
Subject: Casey Urges USDA To Take Smart Steps to Implement New Measure That Could Help Combat Chronic Wasting Disease Among Deer
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
PENNSYLVANIA 2012 THE GREAT ESCAPE OF CWD INVESTIGATION MOVES INTO LOUISIANA
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
PENNSYLVANIA 2012 THE GREAT ESCAPE OF CWD
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
Friday, October 26, 2012
***CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE CWD PENNSYLVANIA GAME FARMS, URINE ATTRACTANT PRODUCTS, BAITING, AND MINERAL LICKS
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
PA Captive deer from CWD-positive farm roaming free
Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 11:33 PM
Pennsylvania CWD number of deer exposed and farms there from much greater than first thought
Monday, October 15, 2012
PENNSYLVANIA GAME COMMISSION AND AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETING TO DISCUSS CWD MONITORING EFFORTS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 15, 2012
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Pennsylvania Confirms First Case CWD Adams County Captive Deer Tests Positive
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Chronic wasting disease on the Canadian prairies
Friday, November 09, 2012
*** Chronic Wasting Disease CWD in cervidae and transmission to other species
Saturday, October 6, 2012
**** TRANSMISSION, DIFFERENTIATION, AND PATHOBIOLOGY OF TRANSMISSIBLE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHIES 2011 Annual Report
Friday, August 24, 2012
Diagnostic accuracy of rectal mucosa biopsy testing for chronic wasting disease within white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) herds in North America
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
Subject: DOCKET-- 03D-0186 -- FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Use of Material From Deer and Elk in Animal Feed; Availability
Date: Fri, 16 May 2003 11:47:37 –0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Sunday, December 2, 2012
CANADA 19 cases of mad cow disease SCENARIO 4: ‘WE HAD OUR CHANCE AND WE BLEW IT’
Friday, October 26, 2012
CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE CWD PENNSYLVANIA GAME FARMS, URINE ATTRACTANT PRODUCTS, BAITING, AND MINERAL LICKS
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is required to license and inspect Cervidae Livestock Operations, and to issue permits prior to importation of Cervidae into the Commonwealth. A permittee must receive a permit number before the animal is imported into Pennsylvania. Additionally, testing requirements for imports are established by the Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services.
7. Nothing in sections 1 through 6 of this act shall be construed to:
a. affect the authority of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Fish and Game Council to promulgate rules and regulations concerning the possession of cervids that are not part of a Cervidae livestock operation; or
b. exempt any person from the provisions of Title 23 of the Revised Statutes, or any rules or regulations adopted pursuant thereto, concerning the release or escape of farmed cervids into the wild.
8. Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S.23:3-28 through R.S.23:3-39, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, to the contrary, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Fish and Game Council shall have no authority to promulgate rules or regulations concerning Cervidae livestock operations that receive a license from the Department of Agriculture pursuant to sections 1 through 7 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).
9. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill is similar to legislation, HB 1580, enacted in Pennsylvania in 2006, which provides that Cervidae livestock operations are to be considered normal agricultural operations and gives the responsibility for regulating these operations to the
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
Chronic Wasting Disease Program Description [Bureau of Animal Health & Diagnostic Services]
snip... CWD Herd Certification Program (HCP) - Is a program of surveillance and related actions designed to determine the CWD status of farmed or captive deer and elk herds. Herds that complete five years of the program with no evidence of CWD will be designated as certified.
Herds start at 1st year status, and advance to the next level annually. After five consecutive years on the HCP, a certified status is achieved; Immediately report any cervid that shows signs that are consistent with CWD (such as pneumonia, staggering, drooling, wasting, or unusual behavior) to the department; Testing of CWD susceptible species, 12 months of age or older, that dies for any reason (including slaughter/harvest). Submit either the obex and retropharyngeal lymph nodes in formalin within 30 days or the whole carcass or head within three days of death; Two forms of identification on all cervids 12 months of age and older. One must be an official identification, the other can be a farm tag as long as it is unique and individual to the animal and to the herd; Must submit an inventory annually on the anniversary date showing deletions/additions and the sources or destination of each. Additions must be of equal or higher value. Must report untestables and escapes immediately; Inspections done annually; Fence height must be 8' and 10' recommended; and Intrastate and Interstate movement is permitted
CWD Herd Monitored Program (HMP) - Is a program of surveillance and related actions designed to monitor farmed or captive deer and elk herds for CWD. It differs from the HCP with requirements and a certified status cannot be achieved with this program. Live animals cannot move from this program unless 30 have been tested for CWD. Then they can move to shooting preserve or slaughter facility only. CWD testing requirements for susceptible species 12 months of age and older are:
see full text ;
PA CWD RESPONSE PLAN JULY 2011
Pennsylvania has the second largest domestic cervid industry in the country. There are over 1,000 domestic cervid breeding farms, hobby farms, and shooting preserves in the Commonwealth. Inter- and intrastate movement of these domestic cervids is a significant risk factor that relates to the introduction and amplification of this disease.
ALSO, SEE PAGE 24 FOR FARMED CERVIDAE PA ;
Pennsylvania Game Commission CWD
PENNSYLVANIA CWD RESPONSE PLAN JULY 2011 (BOTTOM OF PAGE)