21 September 2012
| 6:30 am
raises concerns about deer farms in Iowa
Most cases found so far in state tied to confined
Iowa’s first seven cases of
chronic wasting disease — all directly
related to confined whitetail deer — have put a bull’s eye on the backs of the
state’s deer breeders and the pay-to-shoot facilities they supply.
Critics of penned deer operations — mainly
hunters and game managers — say captive deer are more likely than wild deer to
spread the always fatal brain disease and that killing penned deer violates the
“fair chase” premise that underlies ethical
“I’ve been crucified and demonized,” said Tom
Brakke, a deer breeder and hunting preserve proprietor whose deer have been
implicated in five of the state’s seven positive CWD tests.
Tim Powers, field director for the Iowa chapter
of Whitetails Unlimited, said many Iowa deer hunters fear that wild deer will
soon be infected and resent the role of game farms in the spread of the
Confined deer operations are the “Typhoid Mary
of the ungulates,” said Sen. Dick Dearden, D-Des Moines, chairman of the Senate
Natural Resources Committee.
Like many other Iowa hunters, Dearden said he
thinks the shooting preserves, where people pay to shoot deer in an enclosure,
are more trouble and expense than they are worth.
“I don’t understand how people who shoot
confined deer would call themselves hunters,” said Dearden, who observed that
opposition to hunting penned animals is “probably the only issue that PETA
(People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and I agree on.”
Iowa recorded its first CWD case in July at the
Pine Ridge Hunting Lodge near Bloomfield in Davis County.
The Department of Natural Resources, which
regulates hunting preserves, and the Department of Agriculture and Land
Stewardship, which regulates breeding facilities, have since confirmed six more
positive tests — all but two related to the Davis County hunting preserve and to
a Cerro Gordo County deer breeding facility, both owned by Tom and Rhonda Brakke
of Clear Lake.
The Clear Lake facility has recorded a positive
test, as have three deer raised at that facility and shipped to a combination
shooting and breeding facility in Pottawattamie County, according to State
Veterinarian David Schmitt.
The other two positive tests at the
Pottawattamie facility involved a deer acquired from another Iowa breeder and a
deer that was a natural addition to the herd, Schmitt said.
Tom Brakke said no deer have entered his
breeding facility in the past 10 years and that his herd — about 500 deer at
Clear Lake and more than 150 at the Bloomfield preserve — have been enrolled for
the past nine years in a CWD monitoring program under which every deer that dies
or is killed is tested for the disease. (story continues below
“Nothing comes in 10 years. Every deer that died
in the past nine years has been tested. The incubation period for CWD is 48
months. How did I get CWD? That’s what I want to know,” said Brakke, who sees
his investment of 20 years and $2.5 million rapidly disappearing.
While hunters worry that Brakke’s deer have
already infected or will soon infect wild
Iowa deer, it is “most definitely” possible that his deer could have been
infected by wild Iowa deer, Brakke said.
Whitetail expert Willie Suchy, leader of the
DNR’s wildlife research unit, said CWD is “more likely to show up among captive
animals” because they are often moved from one facility to another, increasing
Bryan Richards, a disease investigator for the
U.S. Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis., said
captive and wild deer are equally susceptible to CWD.
Nevertheless, he said, disease outbreaks
accelerate in a captive environment.
“You are forcing contact in a pen. A sick animal
will soon have contact with every animal in the pen,” he said.
Richards said “there is ample evidence right
there in Iowa that CWD moves through game farm enclosures.”
Both Suchy and Richards said managing deer in
the CWD era would be greatly simplified and rendered more effective if there
were an economical diagnostic test. Today’s standard test is performed
post-mortem on brain cells, which can be extracted only from dead
That penned deer are more susceptible than wild
deer to chronic wasting disease is a “common misconception,” according to Wayne
Johnson of Farley, a member of the Iowa Whitetail Deer Association board of
With CWD confirmed in all of Iowa’s neighboring
states, “it was bound to show up in Iowa,” he said.
One reason the disease showed up first among
confined deer is that all confined deer in Iowa over the age of 1 are tested for
CWD when they die, which compares with a small percent of the wild deer herd,
about 1 percent in any given year, according to Iowa Whitetail Deer Association
spokesman Scott Kent, who is raising about 250 whitetails on a combined hunting
and breeding facility near Osceola.
Johnson, who keeps 13 deer in a 2-acre pen, said
he raises whitetails for both fun and profit.
The few that he sells each year go to hunting
preserves and bring anywhere from $500 to $5,000 each, depending on the size of
their antlers, Johnson said.
Pine Ridge Lodge’s 2011 price list includes
whitetail bucks from $3,500 for antlers in the 160 to 169-inch range all the way
up to $30,000 for monster bucks with antlers measuring more than 300
Another common misconception, according to both
Brakke and Johnson, is that deer within hunting preserves are easy to
“They are still a wild animal, and they have a
lot of room to run and hide” within a 320-acre enclosure, the minimum size
allowed under Iowa law, Johnson said.
“I love to hunt myself, and if it wasn’t a real
hunt I wouldn’t do it,” Brakke said.
DNR spokesman Kevin Baskins confirmed that the
state’s first CWD-positive deer was shot just two hours after it stepped off the
truck, which would not have given the animal much time to acclimate to its new
Randy Taylor, chairman of the legislative
committee of the Iowa Bowhunters Association, said the organization is concerned
that commercial deer operations are threatening the health of Iowa’s wild deer.
“We will recommend that the Legislature pass stricter rules governing the
operation of deer breeding and shooting facilities,” Taylor said.
Dearden said he is “really looking at”
revisiting state rules governing commercial deer operations in the upcoming
session of the Legislature.
Although Department of Agriculture and the DNR
appear to be working well together, the split jurisdiction is an area of
concern, Dearden said.
Brakke’s 330-acre hunting preserve will be
depopulated under an agreement with the DNR. The agreement allows Brakke to
honor commitments for hunts previously scheduled between Sept. 8 and Dec. 25,
said Dale Garner, chief of the DNR’s Wildlife Bureau. Any deer killed during
those hunts will be tested for CWD and any remaining after those hunts will be
killed and tested for the fatal brain disease, Garner said.
by having the age limit on testing i.e. deer that are 16 months of age or
older. it’s well documented that fawns are very susceptible to CWD at a early
age, and the logic behind the 16 months of age or older for the testing of any
dead deer will only lead to more CWD. it’s like the old flawed surveillance for
Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease in the USA, and the threat of proven Iatrogenic spread
there from, and then putting a age limit on CJD surveillance of anyone > or
equal to 55 years and over, do not have to be reported, however, in the 55 year
and older, the CJD infection rate jumps from 1 per 1,000,000 to 1 in 9,000, and
the only folks to have been proven to pass the Iatrogenic CJD via tissues and
organs are sporadic CJD victims. another example of industry regulations, i.e.
BSE testing of cattle only 30 month and older. cattle have been documented with
BSE as young as 20 months.
Wisconsin : Six White-Tailed Deer Fawns Test Positive for CWD
Date: May 13, 2003 Source: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Contacts: Julie Langenberg Wildlife Veterinarian 608-266-3143 Tom Hauge
Director, Bureau of Wildlife Management 608-266-2193
MADISON -- Six fawns in the area of south central Wisconsin where chronic
wasting disease has been found in white-tailed deer have tested positive for the
disease, according to Department of Natural Resources wildlife health officials.
These are the youngest wild white-tailed deer detected with chronic wasting
disease (CWD) to date.
Approximately 4,200 fawns, defined as deer under 1 year of age, were
sampled from the eradication zone over the last year. The majority of fawns
sampled were between the ages of 5 to 9 months, though some were as young as 1
month. Two of the six fawns with CWD detected were 5 to 6 months old. All six of
the positive fawns were taken from the core area of the CWD eradication zone
where the highest numbers of positive deer have been identified.
"This is the first intensive sampling for CWD in fawns anywhere," said Dr.
Julie Langenberg, Department of Natural Resources wildlife veterinarian, "and we
are trying to learn as much as we can from these data".
"One noteworthy finding is simply the fact that we found positive fawns,"
Dr. Langenberg said. "These results do show us that CWD transmission can happen
at a very young age in wild white-tailed deer populations. However, we found
that the percentage of fawns infected with CWD is very low, in the area of 0.14
percent. If there was a higher rate of infection in fawns, then fawns dispersing
in the spring could be much more worrisome for disease spread."
Dr. Langenberg noted that while the youngest CWD-positive fawns had
evidence of disease-causing prions only in lymph node tissue, several of the
older CWD-positive fawns had evidence of CWD prions in both lymph node and brain
tissues -- suggesting further progression of the disease.
"Finding CWD prions in both lymph and brain tissues of deer this young is
slightly surprising," said Langenberg, "and provides information that CWD
infection and illness may progress more rapidly in a white-tailed deer than
previously suspected. Published literature suggests that CWD doesn't cause
illness in a deer until approximately 16 months of age. Our fawn data shows that
a few wild white-tailed deer may become sick from CWD or may transmit the
disease before they reach that age of 16 months."
One of the positive fawns was shot with a doe that was also CWD positive.
Information about these fawn cases combined with will help researchers who are
studying the age and routes of CWD transmission in wild deer populations. "More
data analysis and ongoing deer movement studies should give us an even better
understanding of how this disease moves across the landscape", said Langenberg.
"Thanks to eradication zone hunters who submitted deer of all ages for
sampling, we have a valuable set of fawn data that is contributing to our
state's and the nation's understanding about CWD," Langenberg said.
> > > Two of the six fawns with CWD detected were 5 to 6 months
old. < < <
Why doesn't the Wisconsin DNR want to routinely test fawns ?
The DNR highly discourages the testing of any fawns regardless of where
they were harvested. Of the more than 15,000 fawns from the CWD-MZ that have
been tested, only 23 were test positive, and most of those were nearly one year
old. It is exceedingly unlikely that a deer less than one year old would test
positive for CWD, even in the higher CWD prevalence areas of southern Wisconsin.
Few fawns will have been exposed to CWD, and because this disease spreads
through the deer's body very slowly, it is very rare in a fawn that the disease
has progressed to a level that is detectable. This means that testing a fawn
provides almost no information valuable to understanding CWD in Wisconsin's deer
herd and does not provide information of great value to the hunter in making a
decision about venison consumption.
> > > It is exceedingly unlikely that a deer less than one year
old would test positive for CWD < < < ???
Chronic Wasting Disease in a Wisconsin White-Tailed Deer Farm
and 15 of 22 fawns aged 6 to 9 months (68.2%) were positive.
specific susceptibility? 194. It is probable, based on age-class specific
prevalence data from wild cervids and epidemiological evidence from captive
cervids in affected research centres, that both adults and fawns may become
infected with CWD (Miller, Wild & Williams, 1998; Miller et al., 2000).
198. In Odocoileus virginianus – white tailed deer, out of 179 white-tailed
deer which had become enclosed by an elk farm fence, in Sioux County,
northwestern Nebraska, four fawns only eight months old were among the 50% of
CWD-positive animals; these fawns were not showing any clinical signs of CWD
Volume 17 January 2002 Number 4
CWD News from Nebraska and Kansas
Infection with the chronic wasting disease (CWD) agent recently was found
in 28 of 58 formerly wild white-tailed deer in a high-fenced enclosure adjacent
to a pen containing CWDaffected captive elk in northern Sioux County, Nebraska.
Four of the positive deer were fawns approximately 8 months old, which is
unusually young for animals testing positive for CWD.
A January survey of 39 free-ranging deer collected within 15 miles of the
positive elk and deer pens detected 8 (20%) infected animals. Test results are
pending for additional deer collected inside and outside of the enclosure, and
additional surveillance is planned for free-ranging deer in northwestern
Nebraska. Previously, CWD had been documented in Nebraska in only two wild mule
deer, both of which came from Kimball County in the southwestern panhandle
adjacent to the endemic area of northeastern Colorado and southwestern Wyoming.
CWD in adult deer and fawns
A hundred and thirty-three white-tailed deer in the study were killed after
CWD was diagnosed in the deer within the fenced area. Paired samples of
formalin-fixed tissue for CWD diagnosis and frozen tissue for DNA sequence
analysis were collected. Fifty per cent (67/133) of deer were diagnosed with CWD
(Table 2) using an immunohistochemical assay for PrPd in formalin-fixed,
paraffinembedded brain and lymphoid tissues.
Five of the CWD-positive deer were fawns, less than 1 year of age.
Early CWD (PrPd detected in the tonsil or retropharyngeal node but not
brain) was diagnosed in 14 deer (12 adults ranging from 1?5 to more than 5 years
of age and two fawns). Late CWD (PrPd detectable in brain as well as lymphoid
tissues) was diagnosed in 53 deer (50 adults ranging in age from 1?5 to 7 years
of age and three fawns). None of the CWD-positive deer showed clinical signs of
the disease (weight loss, hypersalivation, disorientation) or gross changes
consistent with CWD (serous atrophy of fat) at necropsy.
Illinois CWD, see where there 2003 sampling showed 2. % of fawns tested had
CWD i.e. 1 positive out of 51 samples.
Boone-Winnebago Unit Fawn 51 1 2.0%
2011 FAWN CWD POSITIVE ILLINOIS
1/26/11 WINNEBAGO 344N 2E S36 F FAWN SHARPSHOOTING
2/10/11 OGLE 341N 1E S7 F FAWN SHARPSHOOTING
3/9/11 OGLE 341N 1E S7 M FAWN SHARPSHOOTING
For example, in 2008 a fawn tested positive and in 2010 an infected
yearling buck was detected in Smith County
Mother to Offspring Transmission of Chronic Wasting Disease
Candace K. Mathiason, Amy V. Nalls, Kelly Anderson, Jeanette Hayes-Klug,
Nicholas Haley and Edward A. Hoover Colorado State University, Department of
Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Fort Collins, CO USA
Key words: Chronic wasting disease, vertical transmission, muntjac deer
We have developed a new cervid model in small Asian muntjac deer (Muntiacus
reevesi) to study potential modes of vertical transmission of chronic wasting
disease (CWD) from mother to offspring. Eight of eight (8/8) muntjac doe orally
infected with CWD tested PrPCWD lymphoid positive by 4 months post infection.
Six fawns were born to these CWD-infected doe. Six fawns were born to 6
CWD-infected doe; 4 of the fawns were non-viable. The viable fawns have been
monitored for CWD infection by immunohistochemistry and sPMCA performed on
serial tonsil and rectal lymphoid tissue biopsies. PrPCWD has been detected in
one fawn as early as 40 days of age. Moreover, sPMCA performed on rectal
lymphoid tissue has yield positive results on another fawn at 10 days of age. In
addition, sPMCA assays have also demonstrated amplifiable prions in maternal
placental (caruncule) and mammary tissue of the dam. Additional pregnancy
related fluids and tissues from the doe as well as tissue from the nonviable
fawns are currently being probed for the presence of CWD. In summary, we have
employed the muntjac deer model, to demonstrate for the first time the
transmission of CWD from mother to offspring. These studies provide the
foundation to investigate the mechanisms and pathways of maternal prion
"PrPCWD has been detected in one fawn as early as 40 days of age. Moreover,
sPMCA performed on rectal lymphoid tissue has yield positive results on another
fawn at 10 days of age"
Oral transmission and early lymphoid tropism of chronic wasting disease
PrPres in mule deer fawns (Odocoileus hemionus)
The rapid infection of deer fawns following exposure by the most plausible
natural route is consistent with the efficient horizontal transmission of CWD in
nature and enables accelerated studies of transmission and pathogenesis in the
native species. Introduction
Wisconsin is home to about 500 deer farmers, and there are more than 8,000
farms in the U.S., according to Laurie Seale of Gilman, who's president of
Whitetails of Wisconsin.
snip...please see full text ;
Saturday, February 04, 2012
Wisconsin 16 MONTH age limit on testing dead deer Game Farm CWD Testing
Protocol Needs To Be Revised
Monday, June 11, 2012
OHIO Captive deer escapees and non-reporting
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Agreement Reached with Owner to De-Populate CWD Deer at Davis County
Hunting Preserve Iowa
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Additional Facility in Pottawatamie County Iowa Under Quarantine for CWD
after 5 deer test positive
Friday, July 20, 2012
CWD found for first time in Iowa at hunting preserve
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Captive Deer Breeding Legislation Overwhelmingly Defeated During 2012
Saturday, September 01, 2012
Resistance of Soil-Bound Prions to Rumen Digestion
Friday, August 31, 2012
COMMITTEE ON CAPTIVE WILDLIFE AND ALTERNATIVE LIVESTOCK and CWD 2009-2012 a
Saturday, June 09, 2012
USDA Establishes a Herd Certification Program for Chronic Wasting Disease
in the United States
*** Spraker suggested an interesting explanation for the occurrence of CWD.
The deer pens at the Foot Hills Campus were built some 30-40 years ago by a Dr.
At or abut that time, allegedly, some scrapie work was conducted at this
site. When deer were introduced to the pens they occupied ground that had
previously been occupied by sheep.
(PLEASE NOTE SOME OF THESE OLD UK GOVERNMENT FILE URLS ARE SLOW TO OPEN,
AND SOMETIMES YOU MAY HAVE TO CLICK ON MULTIPLE TIMES, PLEASE BE PATIENT, ANY
PLEASE WRITE ME PRIVATELY, AND I WILL TRY AND FIX OR SEND YOU OLD PDF
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
SCRAPIE TRANSMISSION TO CHIMPANZEES
PO-039: A comparison of scrapie and chronic wasting disease in white-tailed
Justin Greenlee, Jodi Smith, Eric Nicholson US Dept. Agriculture;
Agricultural Research Service, National Animal Disease Center; Ames, IA USA
PO-081: Chronic wasting disease in the cat— Similarities to feline
spongiform encephalopathy (FSE)
Thursday, May 31, 2012
CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE CWD PRION2012 Aerosol, Inhalation transmission,
Scrapie, cats, species barrier, burial, and more
Monday, September 17, 2012
Rapid Transepithelial Transport of Prions Following Inhalation
GAME FARMERS, CWD, AND THEIR COMMENTS...disturbing...frightening even. it
seems they are oblivious to their own demise. ...
see comments ;
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). SNIP... 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).
PLEASE STUDY THIS MAP, COMPARE FARMED CWD TO WILD CWD...TSS
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Occurrence, Transmission, and Zoonotic Potential of Chronic Wasting Disease
CDC Volume 18, Number 3—March 2012
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).
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
The overall diagnostic specificity was 99.8%. Selective use of antemortem
rectal biopsy sample testing would provide valuable information during disease
investigations of CWD-suspect deer herds.