Published Date: 2006-12-30 00:00:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Chronic wasting disease, cervids - USA (WY)(02)
Archive Number: 20061230.3653
CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE, CERVIDS - USA (WYOMING)(02)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 28 Dec 2006
From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr. <flounder9@VERIZON.NET>
Source: Casper Tribune [edited]
Two deer hunting areas and 2 elk areas have joined Wyoming's list of
areas where chronic wasting disease has been detected. The Wyoming
Game and Fish Department, after its 4th year of chronic wasting
[disease] surveillance, has added deer hunt area 4 east of Sundance,
deer hunt area 11 in Niobrara & Weston counties and elk hunt areas 16
& 22 in northern Carbon County -- all adjacent to areas where the
disease had been previously detected.
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal neurological disease that
affects deer, elk and moose. Animals show no signs of illness
throughout much of the disease's course. In terminal stages, animals
typically are emaciated and display abnormal behavior. There is no
confirmed link between CWD and any human illness.
The spread of the disease this year has been more incremental -- not
the big jump represented by discovery of the disease in 3 hunting
areas around Thermopolis and on the Wind River Indian Reservation
last year . Game and Fish personnel collected 4653 deer, elk
and moose samples in 2006. Of those, 116 animals tested positive for
chronic wasting -- 88 mule deer, 13 white-tailed deer, and 15 elk.
"We're concerned that CWD continues to spread to new parts of the
state, but it's not a surprise that CWD was found in these areas,"
said Scott Talbott, assistant wildlife division chief with Game and
Fish. "It has previously been found in hunt areas adjacent to these
new areas. We plan to continue monitoring the disease throughout the
state in future years."
Lloyd Dorsey, a Jackson-based representative of the Greater
Yellowstone Coalition, expressed relief that the disease hadn't
extended farther into western Wyoming, but said this was no time for
Wyoming to relax. "This is an excellent opportunity to start phasing
out the elk feedgrounds, so that when CWD does reach western Wyoming,
it won't decimate those elk herds," Dorsey said.
Some conservationists worry that the feedgrounds constitute a
breeding ground for disease, keeping herds continually infected with
brucellosis. The arrival of a fatal disease such as chronic wasting,
they say, would spell disaster for wildlife that frequent those
feedgrounds. [Brucellosis is a contagious disease that can be spread
between animals and is not related to Chronic Wasting Disease. It is
believed that the feedgrounds promote the type of contact that may
spread brucellosis between animals. Chronic Wasting Disease does not
necessarily spread between animals because of close contact. It may
spread because of an infected environment, because of consumption of
infected gut piles, or because of contact with infected urine. - Mod.TG]
Game and Fish officials say closing feedgrounds would result in the
deaths of large numbers of elk and that the threat of CWD doesn't
justify such closures.
Approved this year , the Wyoming Game and Fish plan for the
management of CWD does not call for closure of feedgrounds, but does
ban private feeding of wildlife, noting that "there is evidence that
CWD is more efficiently transmitted when animals are
concentrated." The plan's response to the arrival of the disease on
the feedgrounds of northwest Wyoming would be to intensively monitor
the wildlife population; remove those that appear to be sick;
maximize the area of feeding to reduce animal-to-animal contact;
reduce the number of feeding days to disperse the elk; and take any
other actions to decrease elk concentration, consistent with other
necessary wildlife management needs and feedground practices.
Samples were collected this year by Game and Fish personnel at hunter
check stations and meat processors throughout the state as well as
road-killed animals and targeted animals showing signs of the
disease. Hunters participating in the surveillance program could
check the results of their sample by accessing the department's Web
site, and hunters whose deer or elk tested positive were notified
individually by mail.
The department also notified other state wildlife agencies by mail if
hunters from their states harvested animal testing positive.
Game and Fish began testing moose for chronic wasting in 2005. In
2006, the department tested 36 moose -- none of which tested positive
for the disease.
[Byline: Brodie Farquhar]
Terry S. Singeltary Sr.