Hunter CWD Test Available

By: Stacy Eckes
By: Stacy Eckes

The federal government is allowing an additional 200,000 deer to be tested.

Nearly, 200 vets across the state will be certified to take a sample from the brain stem. They will then send it to a federal lab for testing. The Department of Natural Resources says it could take between three to six months to get the results.

So, if you are concerned about tainted venison, vets also suggest you make sure your meat processor identifies your deer and does not pool your meat with others.

"It is a little bit of wait and see. It does not guarantee food safety but it does give you peace of mind that your deer was free of C.W.D.," said Dr. Gary Johnson, a veterinarian from Plover.

The cost to hunters to have their deer tested could range from $50 to $100. Extended Web Coverage

Chronic Wasting Disease

  • To date, chronic wasting disease has been found only in members of the deer family in North America. Animals include: Rocky Mountain Elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, and black-tailed deer.

  • There is ongoing research to explore the possibility of transmission of chronic wasting disease to other species.

Clinical Signs

  • Most cases of chronic wasting disease occur in adult animals.

  • The disease is progressive and always fatal.

  • The most obvious and consistent clinical sign of chronic wasting disease is weight loss over time.

  • Behavioral changes also occur in the majority of cases, including decreased interactions with other animals.

What Causes chronic wasting disease?

  • The agent responsible for chronic wasting disease has not been completely characterized.

  • There are three main theories on the nature of the agent that causes chronic wasting disease:
    • The agent is a prion, an abnormal form of a normal protein, known as cellular prion protein, most commonly found in the central nervous system.

    • The agent is an unconventional virus.

    • The agent is a virino, or "incomplete" virus composed of nucleic acid protected by host proteins. The chronic wasting disease agent is smaller than most viral particles and does not evoke any detectable immune response or inflammatory reaction in the host animal.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture contributed to this report.

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