Friday, September 18, 2015

Michigan DNR honors Meridian Township for its CWD response, cooperation



Contact: Russ Mason, 517-243-8928 or Ed Golder, 517-284-5815


DNR honors Meridian Township for its CWD response, cooperation Meridian Township


officials, officers with DNR staff getting an awardThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources has recognized Meridian Township in Ingham County with a Partners in Conservation Awards for its ongoing cooperation with deer management and assistance with chronic wasting disease. The award was presented at last week’s meeting of the Natural Resources Commission in Lansing.


Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose.


In May, the DNR confirmed the state’s first case of CWD in a free-ranging, white-tailed deer in Meridian Township. That was followed by two additional confirmations (also in free-ranging, white-tailed deer: one in July and one in August), also in Meridian Township. These three deer were discovered within a mile of one another and, in fact, were determined to be related as part of an extended family.


“Meridian Township police brought us our first deer that tested positive for chronic wasting disease, and we wouldn’t have made the kind of progress monitoring for CWD without their help and cooperation,” said Russ Mason, chief of the DNR’s Wildlife Division. “We look forward to continuing to work with Meridian Township in the future.”


Mason praised Meridian Township as an extraordinary partner for its efforts before the CWD outbreak, too, because of the township’s highly effective urban deer management program. Launched in 2011, that program invites bow hunters to take part in a managed harvest of deer on publicly owned properties in order to help control the area’s deer population.


“Theirs is a model for this sort of population-control program,” said Mason, who nominated the township for the award. “Other areas with urban deer challenges should see how Median Township does it.”


Township manager Frank Walsh, along with members of the Meridian Township Police Department and a township commissioner, accepted the Partners in Conservation Award. Walsh said the award was “indicative of the great relationship that exists between Meridian Township and the Department of Natural Resources.”


“We have a difficult issue to work on with CWD,” Walsh said. “But this partnership will allow us move forward to protect Michigan’s white-tailed deer herd.”


Learn more about chronic wasting disease on the DNR website


Partners in Conservation Awards are given to individuals or organizations for exemplary contributions to conservation in Michigan. Award nominations are made by DNR staff.


/Note to editors: An accompanying photo is available below for download. Caption information follows.


Officials with Meridian Township were on hand at a recent Michigan Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing, to receive a Partners in Conservation Award from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The township was honored for its assistance with chronic wasting disease. Shown here (L to R) are DNR Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason; Milton Scales, Meridian Township trustee; Officer Dave Hall; Meridian Township manager Frank Walsh; Officer Ken Plaga, and DNR Director Keith Creagh./


Partners in Conservation Award - Meridian Township.jpg




The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to



Thursday, August 06, 2015


Michigan DNR confirms third deer positive for CWD; hunter participation is critical this fall



Friday, July 17, 2015


Michigan confirms CWD in second free-ranging white-tailed deer



Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Michigan confirms state's first case of chronic wasting disease in free-ranging white-tailed deer



 Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Deer-trafficking scheme nets record $1.6 million fine herds not certified to be free from chronic wasting disease, tuberculosis and brucellosis



*** In utero transmission and tissue distribution of chronic wasting disease-associated prions in free-ranging Rocky Mountain elk ***



Sunday, September 13, 2015


*** urine, feces, and chronic wasting disease cwd tse prion risk factors, loading up the environment ***



Friday, August 28, 2015


*** Chronic Wasting Disease CWD TSE Prion Diagnostics and subclinical infection ***



CWD Update


Chronic Wasting Disease Eradication Program Provided by the Animal Industry Division Michigan Department of Agriculture September 5, 2008


Background: The Michigan departments of Agriculture (MDA) and Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed the state’s first case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a three-year old white-tailed deer from a privately owned cervid (POC) facility in Kent County on Monday, August 25, 2008. The state quarantined all POC facilities, prohibiting the movement of all – dead or alive – privately-owned deer, elk, or moose. Officials do not yet know how the deer may have contracted the disease. To date, there is no evidence that CWD presents a risk to humans or to animals other than cervids. MDA Actions: The state-wide quarantine on all privately owned cervid facilities is still in place. Facilities may continue to hold shooting events, but all carcasses* must be held until testing clears the animal/or the quarantine is released. A clarification to the quarantines was published and distributed to law enforcement officials, stakeholders and other interested parties. A questions and answers sheet is available under the livestock link on the website.


The test results from the Kent County cervid breeding facility, where the index case was confirmed, found no additional diseased deer. Epidemiologists are reviewing taxidermy records on a facility related to the index case. Taxidermy operations must be licensed and operators must follow Michigan requirements when conducting business with hunters who have harvested animals from other states. Current Michigan law prohibits the import of free-ranging deer or elk carcasses from states or provinces with CWD. Only de-boned meat, antlers, antlers attached to a scull cap cleaned of all brain and muscle tissue, hides and upper canine teeth may be brought into Michigan. A person that is notified by mail or other means, that a carcass imported into Michigan tested positive for CWD must notify the Michigan DNR.


The first tier of traces from the index facility led to five facilities: three in Kent County, one in Montcalm County, and one in Osceola County. These facilities were quarantined by MDA. Records of sales and purchases have been reviewed and have revealed that two facilities received deer from the index case. Four deer from these two facilities were 2 euthanized, samples were tested at MSU’s DCPAH and were found to be negative on Thursday, September 04, 2008. One of the five facilities in tier one, also a Kent County facility conducts a taxidermy operation on the premises. Taxidermy is of great concern because infectious prions in the bones and spinal tissue of the carcass from CWD positive states can infect deer on the facility. MDA, DNR and USDA staff are investigating the records of the taxidermy operation. The second tier investigation to this point, has quarantined four facilities in Bay, Kent, Mecosta, and Saginaw counties. These facilities only sold to the tier one facilities and did not receive anything. They are quarantined as terminal operations and any deer that die, are culled, or shot for sport must be submitted for CWD testing. POC Facilities Quarantined: All POC facilities, except those that only have reindeer, are under quarantine in Michigan until the disease investigation is complete. Epidemiologists are developing a policy for records review and release of quarantines based on management practices and risk.


Disease Surveillance Table: Index facility Depopulated Tier 1 Tier 2 1 Entire index herd tested negative 5 herds 2 trace outs (four test-negative animals) 3 trace ins 4 none of these 4 facilities trace directly to the index facility DNR Actions: The ban on all baiting and feeding of deer and elk in the Lower Peninsula is in effect. MSU’s Product Center for Agriculture Development is taking calls from bait growers/sellers. The Center is using Michigan Market Maker, an interactive mapping system that connects Agriculture processors and businesses with Michigan growers and marketers. Information on the baiting and feeding ban is available on the CWD page of the Emerging Diseases website. A mandatory deer check for hunters who take a deer within the Kent County townships of Tyrone, Solon, Nelson, Sparta, Algoma, Courtland, Alpine, Plainfield, and Cannon, is in effect for the 2008 hunting season. The deer heads will be collected and tested for CWD. All transport of live wild deer, elk, and moose is prohibited statewide, including transport for rehabilitation purposes. Education and Outreach: A town hall meeting is scheduled to take place in Kent County on September 9, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. near Grand Rapids. Representatives from MDA, USDA, DNR and MSU will be there to answer questions about CWD, quarantines and the baiting ban. An update on the disease investigation will be presented to the House of Representatives Committee on Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resources on September 9, 2008 and the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Hunting and Fishing committees on September 10, 2008. 3 Questions and Answers regarding POC facility quarantines were sent via email to legislative offices, POC facility executive directors, and DNR law enforcement. They are also posted to the MDA, and Emerging Diseases websites. A coordinated communications action plan is in place. MSU Extension, Michigan Deer and Elk Breeders, MUCC, and many other special interest groups have volunteered to assist with information distribution. Information on CWD may be found on the Michigan Emerging Diseases website at Corrected on September 8, 2008 – changed from “meat” to “carcasses”.




Summary of Michigan Wildlife Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance Updated May 1, 2008 by Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Disease Laboratory




MICHIGAN CWD Consumer Warning September – December 2008


The state's first case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was confirmed in a three-year old white-tailed deer from a privately owned cervid (POC) facility in Kent County on August 25, 2008. As a result, all POC facilities in Michigan were quarantined. Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose. Infected animals display abnormal behavior, progressive weight loss and physical debilitation. CWD is believed to be caused by infectious, self-multiplying proteins (prions). Prions are normal cell proteins whose shape has been transformed, causing CWD. To date, CWD is not known to cause or be associated with disease in humans. No increase in human prion disease has been observed in areas of the western United States where CWD has been endemic in cervid populations for decades.


However, because much is still unknown about prion diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization advise that humans do NOT consume animals that have been tested and are known to be infected with CWD. In general, people should not handle or consume wild animals that appear sick or act abnormally, regardless of the cause. CWD prions are primarily found in central nervous system tissues (e.g. brain and spinal cord) and the lymphatic system (e.g. tonsils, lymph nodes and spleen) of infected cervids. Humans should avoid the handling or consumption of these tissues. Hunters should wear disposable gloves while field dressing and de-boning meat from the carcass. Recent research has shown that CWD prions may also be found in the saliva and urine of the infected animal. Experiments conducted suggest that CWD prions can persist in the environment and may indirectly infect other susceptible animals that come into contact with the contaminated environment. The meat product you are receiving has come from a quarantined facility under surveillance for CWD. MDA recommends you take de-boned meat from the carcass, hold the meat product in a freezer and consume it only after the facility of origin receives clarification from MDA that the animal was negative for CWD.










Zoonotic Potential of CWD Prions


Liuting Qing1, Ignazio Cali1,2, Jue Yuan1, Shenghai Huang3, Diane Kofskey1, Pierluigi Gambetti1, Wenquan Zou1, Qingzhong Kong1 1Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 2Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy, 3Encore Health Resources, Houston, Texas, USA


*** These results indicate that the CWD prion has the potential to infect human CNS and peripheral lymphoid tissues and that there might be asymptomatic human carriers of CWD infection.




***These results indicate that the CWD prion has the potential to infect human CNS and peripheral lymphoid tissues and that there might be asymptomatic human carriers of CWD infection.***




P.105: RT-QuIC models trans-species prion transmission


Kristen Davenport, Davin Henderson, Candace Mathiason, and Edward Hoover Prion Research Center; Colorado State University; Fort Collins, CO USA


Conversely, FSE maintained sufficient BSE characteristics to more efficiently convert bovine rPrP than feline rPrP. Additionally, human rPrP was competent for conversion by CWD and fCWD.


***This insinuates that, at the level of protein:protein interactions, the barrier preventing transmission of CWD to humans is less robust than previously estimated.




***This insinuates that, at the level of protein:protein interactions, the barrier preventing transmission of CWD to humans is less robust than previously estimated.***







Sunday, August 25, 2013


HD.13: CWD infection in the spleen of humanized transgenic mice


Liuting Qing and Qingzhong Kong


Case Western Reserve University; Cleveland, OH USA


Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a widespread prion disease in free-ranging and captive cervid species in North America, and there is evidence suggesting the existence of multiple CWD strains. The susceptibility of human CNS and peripheral organs to the various CWD prion strains remains largely unclear. Current literature suggests that the classical CWD strain is unlikely to infect human brain, but the potential for peripheral infection by CWD in humans is unknown. We detected protease-resistant PrpSc in the spleens of a few humanized transgenic mice that were intracerebrally inoculated with natural CWD isolates, but PrpSc was not detected in the brains of any of the CWD-inoculated mice. Our ongoing bioassays in humanized Tg mice indicate that intracerebral challenge with such PrpSc-positive humanized mouse spleen already led to prion disease in most animals. ***These results indicate that the CWD prion may have the potential to infect human peripheral lymphoid tissues.


Oral.15: Molecular barriers to zoonotic prion transmission: Comparison of the ability of sheep, cattle and deer prion disease isolates to convert normal human prion protein to its pathological isoform in a cell-free system


Marcelo A.Barria,1 Aru Balachandran,2 Masanori Morita,3 Tetsuyuki Kitamoto,4 Rona Barron,5 Jean Manson,5 Richard Kniqht,1 James W. lronside1 and Mark W. Head1


1National CJD Research and Surveillance Unit; Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences; School of Clinical Sciences; The University of Edinburgh; Edinburgh, UK; 2National and OIE Reference Laboratory for Scrapie and CWD; Canadian Food Inspection Agency; Ottawa Laboratory; Fallowfield. ON Canada; 3Infectious Pathogen Research Section; Central Research Laboratory; Japan Blood Products Organization; Kobe, Japan; 4Department of Neurological Science; Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine; Sendai. Japan; 5Neurobiology Division; The Roslin Institute and R(D)SVS; University of Edinburgh; Easter Bush; Midlothian; Edinburgh, UK


Background. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is a known zoonotic prion disease, resulting in variant Creurzfeldt- Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans. In contrast, classical scrapie in sheep is thought to offer little or no danger to human health. However, a widening range of prion diseases have been recognized in cattle, sheep and deer. The risks posed by individual animal prion diseases to human health cannot be determined a priori and are difficult to assess empirically. The fundamemal event in prion disease pathogenesis is thought to be the seeded conversion of normal prion protein (PrPC) to its pathological isoform (PrPSc). Here we report the use of a rapid molecular conversion assay to test whether brain specimens from different animal prion diseases are capable of seeding the conversion of human PrPC ro PrPSc.


Material and Methods. Classical BSE (C-type BSE), H-type BSE, L-type BSE, classical scrapie, atypical scrapie, chronic wasting disease and vCJD brain homogenates were tested for their ability to seed conversion of human PrPC to PrPSc in protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) reactions. Newly formed human PrPSc was detected by protease digestion and western blotting using the antibody 3F4.


Results. C-type BSE and vCJD were found to efficiently convert PrPC to PrPSc. Scrapie failed to convert human PrPC to PrPSc. Of the other animal prion diseases tested only chronic wasting disease appeared to have the capability ro convert human PrPC to PrPSc. The results were consistent whether the human PrPC came from human brain, humanised transgenic mouse brain or from cultured human cells and the effect was more pronounced for PrPC with methionine at codon 129 compared with that with valine.


Conclusion. Our results show that none of the tested animal prion disease isolates are as efficient as C-type BSE and vCJD in converting human prion protein in this in vitro assay. ***However, they also show that there is no absolute barrier ro conversion of human prion protein in the case of chronic wasting disease.




Sunday, August 25, 2013


***Chronic Wasting Disease CWD risk factors, humans, domestic cats, blood, and mother to offspring transmission



From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr.


Sent: Saturday, November 15, 2014 9:29 PM


To: Terry S. Singeltary Sr.










*** The association between venison eating and risk of CJD shows similar pattern, with regular venison eating associated with a 9 FOLD INCREASE IN RISK OF CJD (p = 0.04). (SEE LINK IN REPORT HERE...TSS) PLUS, THE CDC DID NOT PUT THIS WARNING OUT FOR THE WELL BEING OF THE DEER AND ELK ;





*** These results would seem to suggest that CWD does indeed have zoonotic potential, at least as judged by the compatibility of CWD prions and their human PrPC target. Furthermore, extrapolation from this simple in vitro assay suggests that if zoonotic CWD occurred, it would most likely effect those of the PRNP codon 129-MM genotype and that the PrPres type would be similar to that found in the most common subtype of sCJD (MM1).***



*** The potential impact of prion diseases on human health was greatly magnified by the recognition that interspecies transfer of BSE to humans by beef ingestion resulted in vCJD. While changes in animal feed constituents and slaughter practices appear to have curtailed vCJD, there is concern that CWD of free-ranging deer and elk in the U.S. might also cross the species barrier. Thus, consuming venison could be a source of human prion disease. Whether BSE and CWD represent interspecies scrapie transfer or are newly arisen prion diseases is unknown. Therefore, the possibility of transmission of prion disease through other food animals cannot be ruled out. There is evidence that vCJD can be transmitted through blood transfusion. There is likely a pool of unknown size of asymptomatic individuals infected with vCJD, and there may be asymptomatic individuals infected with the CWD equivalent. These circumstances represent a potential threat to blood, blood products, and plasma supplies. ***



*** IF CWD is not a risk factor for humans, then I guess the FDA et al recalled all this CWD tainted elk tenderloin (2009 Exotic Meats USA of San Antonio, TX) for the welfare and safety of the dead elk. ...tss


Exotic Meats USA Announces Urgent Statewide Recall of Elk Tenderloin Because It May Contain Meat Derived From An Elk Confirmed To Have Chronic Wasting Disease


Contact: Exotic Meats USA 1-800-680-4375


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- February 9, 2009 -- Exotic Meats USA of San Antonio, TX is initiating a voluntary recall of Elk Tenderloin because it may contain meat derived from an elk confirmed to have Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The meat with production dates of December 29, 30 and 31, 2008 was purchased from Sierra Meat Company in Reno, NV. The infected elk came from Elk Farm LLC in Pine Island, MN and was among animals slaughtered and processed at USDA facility Noah’s Ark Processors LLC.


Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal brain and nervous system disease found in elk and deer. The disease is caused by an abnormally shaped protein called a prion, which can damage the brain and nerves of animals in the deer family. Currently, it is believed that the prion responsible for causing CWD in deer and elk is not capable of infecting humans who eat deer or elk contaminated with the prion, but the observation of animal-to-human transmission of other prion-mediated diseases, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), has raised a theoretical concern regarding the transmission of CWD from deer or elk to humans. At the present time, FDA believes the risk of becoming ill from eating CWD-positive elk or deer meat is remote. However, FDA strongly advises consumers to return the product to the place of purchase, rather than disposing of it themselves, due to environmental concerns.


Exotic Meats USA purchased 1 case of Elk Tenderloins weighing 16.9 lbs. The Elk Tenderloin was sold from January 16 – 27, 2009. The Elk Tenderloins was packaged in individual vacuum packs weighing approximately 3 pounds each. A total of six packs of the Elk Tenderloins were sold to the public at the Exotic Meats USA retail store. Consumers who still have the Elk Tenderloins should return the product to Exotic Meats USA at 1003 NE Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78209. Customers with concerns or questions about the Voluntary Elk Recall can call 1-800-680-4375. The safety of our customer has always been and always will be our number one priority.


Exotic Meats USA requests that for those customers who have products with the production dates in question, do not consume or sell them and return them to the point of purchase. Customers should return the product to the vendor. The vendor should return it to the distributor and the distributor should work with the state to decide upon how best to dispose. If the consumer is disposing of the product he/she should consult with the local state EPA office.




RSS Feed for FDA Recalls Information11 [what's this?12]



Thursday, May 26, 2011


Travel History, Hunting, and Venison Consumption Related to Prion Disease Exposure, 2006-2007 FoodNet Population Survey Journal of the American Dietetic Association Volume 111, Issue 6 , Pages 858-863, June 2011.



now, let’s see what the authors said about this casual link, personal communications years ago. see where it is stated NO STRONG evidence. so, does this mean there IS casual evidence ???? “Our conclusion stating that we found no strong evidence of CWD transmission to humans”


From: TSS (




Date: September 30, 2002 at 7:06 am PST


From: "Belay, Ermias"


To: Cc: "Race, Richard (NIH)" ; ; "Belay, Ermias"


Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 9:22 AM




Dear Sir/Madam,


In the Archives of Neurology you quoted (the abstract of which was attached to your email), we did not say CWD in humans will present like variant CJD. That assumption would be wrong. I encourage you to read the whole article and call me if you have questions or need more clarification (phone: 404-639-3091). Also, we do not claim that "no-one has ever been infected with prion disease from eating venison." Our conclusion stating that we found no strong evidence of CWD transmission to humans in the article you quoted or in any other forum is limited to the patients we investigated.


Ermias Belay, M.D. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


-----Original Message-----


From: Sent: Sunday, September 29, 2002 10:15 AM


To:;; ebb8@CDC.GOV




Sunday, November 10, 2002 6:26 PM ......snip........end..............TSS


Thursday, April 03, 2008


A prion disease of cervids: Chronic wasting disease 2008 1: Vet Res. 2008 Apr 3;39(4):41 A prion disease of cervids: Chronic wasting disease Sigurdson CJ.




*** twenty-seven CJD patients who regularly consumed venison were reported to the Surveillance Center***,


snip... full text ;





*** These results would seem to suggest that CWD does indeed have zoonotic potential, at least as judged by the compatibility of CWD prions and their human PrPC target. Furthermore, extrapolation from this simple in vitro assay suggests that if zoonotic CWD occurred, it would most likely effect those of the PRNP codon 129-MM genotype and that the PrPres type would be similar to that found in the most common subtype of sCJD (MM1).***



-------- Original Message --------


Subject: A Risk-based Audit of the Captive/Privately-owned Cervid Industry in Michigan


Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2005 15:48:08 -0600


From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."


Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy


To: mhtml:%7B33B38F65-8D2E-434D-8F9B-8BDCD77D3066%7Dmid://00000040/!x-usc:mailto:BSE-L@KALIV.UNI-KARLSRUHE.DE


##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################


A Risk-based Audit of the Captive/Privatelyowned Cervid Industry in Michigan Michigan Department of Natural Resources Report Series Issue Report No. 1 March 10, 2005


Data Analysis and Final Report Committee Michigan Department of Natural Resources


D. O Brien, Wildlife Division (Chair) P. Bernardi, Law Enforcement Division S. Dubay, Wildlife Division S. Mayhew, Wildlife Division W. Moritz, Wildlife Division D. Purol, Law Enforcement Division ii


Executive Summary


Deer and closely related species such as elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni), moose (Alces alces), and caribou (Rangifer tarandus), scientifically classified as members of the Family Cervidae are collectively referred to as Cervids. While the general public commonly considers cervids wildlife, cervids raised in enclosures and cared for by humans (variously called captive, privately-owned, 1 or farmed ) form a group distinct from free-ranging (i.e., wild ) cervids. Management of these captive/privately-owned cervids (C/P-OC) presents a number of unique challenges and opportunities. Because C/P-OC management involves aspects relevant to both agriculture and resource conservation, both the Michigan Departments of Agriculture (MDA) and Natural Resources (MDNR) have responsibilities in C/P-OC regulation. Both agencies recognize the potential of diseases, specifically Chronic Wasting Disease and Bovine Tuberculosis, to negatively impact both privately owned livestock and wildlife in Michigan. The term Captive/Privately Owned Cervid Industry refers to the collective body of enclosures. This industry is composed of 740 facilities located throughout the State, ranging in size from less than 1 acre to over 5,000 acres. Facilities are classified into 4 categories based on function: Hobby, Exhibition, Ranch, and Full Registration. While Hobby and Exhibition are self explanatory, Ranches provide shooting opportunities, and Full Registration facilities provide breeding stock, shooting stock, and sale of live animals for hobby and exhibition operations. As a result of recommendations from the Michigan CWD Task Force and an Executive Order of the Governor, a risk-based audit of the state s C/P -OC industry was carried out not to be punitive, but to find any flaws or weaknesses in the current system that might lead to the entrance of CWD into Michigan s captive and wild cervid herds. With the cooperation of the MDA s Animal Industry Division and C/P-OC producers around the state, the Law Enforcement and Wildlife Divisions of the MDNR audited 584 C/P-OC facilities throughout the state between June 15, 2004 and October 26, 2004, of which 506 were active operations. Auditors collected data on a variety of factors related to the risk of introduction and spread of CWD in the state, including number and types of cervids held, the places from which they were obtained, how they were identified, the types, heights and conditions of fences, and information about CWD testing and escapes. During the period of the audit, audited facilities housed a total of 32,493 C/P-OC based on facility owner information. More than 30,000 (30,616 or 94.2%) of those animals were of species known or anticipated to be susceptible to CWD. The vast majority (25,976 or 84.8%) were white-tailed deer. Elk were second most abundant at 4,029 animals (13.2%), and 611 animals (2.0%) were red deer (Cervus elaphus elaphus). Full Registration facilities housed 13,840 (42.6%) C/P -OC while Ranches housed 18,394 (56.6%). Overall, auditors determined that 37% of all C/P-OC facilities were not in compliance with current regulations at the time of the audit. The principal areas of deficiency related to the identification of animals, the rate of CWD testing, conditions of fences, and the rate and reporting of escaped animals. In spite of the unique characteristics of CWD as a disease, many of the risks for its introduction and propagation identified during the course of this audit are recurring themes in the surveillance and control of other contagious diseases in other species. While many issues of note, both positive and n gative, were found in these inspections of Michigan C/P-OC facilities, the following stand out as deserving comments and recommendations: · Efforts to minimize the risks of introduction and propagation of CWD via C/P-OC in Michigan begin and end with individual animal identification. The current animal identification regulations are inadequate because they do not require facility owners to identify all C/P-OC or to identify them all in 1 The terms used to refer these animals differ between stakeholder groups. In Michigan, agricultural groups prefer the term privately-owned cervids, whereas natural resource groups more commonly recognize the term captive cervids. To avoid confusion of either group, for the purposes of this report they are referred to collectively as captive/privately-owned cervids (abbreviated C/P-OC). iii a unique and uniform way. A system must be implemented that is mandatory, uniform across all facilities and classes, and that provides unique and visible identification to each individual by which the animal can be traced throughout its lifetime. All animals must be identified by 1 year of age , and the appropriate state agency must issue and administer the identification system. The identification must also be easily visible so that each and every animal is clearly identified as a C/P -OC in the event of escape. In calling for this requirement, we understand that identification of every animal may be very difficult for Ranch facilities because of their size and their inherently less intensive management and handling of the animals. Nonetheless, individual animal identification is so critical to minimizing and managing disease risk that facilities such as Ranches that cannot reliably and verifiably identify each and every individual should be subject to more stringent and vigorously enforced fencing and biosecurity regulations to ensure that unmarked animals do not le ave the facility alive under any circumstances. · Along with animal identification, CWD testing of Michigan C/P-OC, or more accurately, the lack of testing, was the greatest risk for introduction and propagation of the disease identified during this audit. In spite of a mandatory testing program for all C/P-OC over 16 months of age that die plus a representative percentage of culls, nearly 90% of the reported C/P-OC deaths were not tested for CWD. While some facilities have tested in good faith, nearly half of the audited Ranch and Full Registration facilities reported that they had submitted no CWD tests at all. Without adequate CWD testing, the introduction of CWD into the State s C/P -OC cannot be detected. More ominously, this same lack of testing means that we cannot rule out the possibility the disease is already here and currently propagating undetected. Steps have been taken jointly by MDA and MDNR to notify producers of testing requirements and provide information about sample submission (letter dated Nov 15, 2004). · The lack of a specified protocol for de-commissioning or de-registering a C/P-OC facility is a risk for introduction and propagation of CWD. Audit teams found a number of facilities that wanted to leave the C/P-OC business but had little guidance from regulations on how to decommission. As a result, understandably frustrated facility owners may deal with the situation in a way they deem appropriate, which, at worst, could mean releasing the ir C/P-OC into the free-ranging cervid population. Appropriate regulations should be developed speedily, and those regulations should provide for an outreach/education program to inform and assist C/P-OC producers who wish to leave the business and get rid of their animals. · Procedures to deal with facility abandonment, are conspicuously absent and critically needed. As an example, when inspectors visited a facility during the audit, fences were down, the C/P-OC were gone, and the owner had moved out of state. In such cases, given the currently inadequate regulatory provisions for individual animal identification and recordkeeping, there is no way to be sure what happene to the animals or verify the CWD risk those animals, or the land once used as a C/P-OC facility, pose to the free-ranging cervid population. Penalties for cases where an owner just walks away from a facility should be sufficiently severe to provide a strong deterrent for this unacceptable behavior. · Another area of risk for CWD introduction and propagation for which both C/P-OC facilities and regulating state agencies bear some burden of responsibility is thao inadequate recordkeeping. To the credit of the C/P -OC industry, the vast majority of inspected facilities not only keep records, but the records they keep were judged to be in compliance with current regulations. However, the current regulations are not particularly stringent when viewed in the context of what is required of a recordkeeping system in order to minimize disease risks. For example, most of the records kept are on paper, and while they comply with current regulations, lack of simultaneous accessibility of these iv records by the multiple parties necessary to ensure adequate disease surveillance presents an obvious risk. In addition to the issues discussed relative to animal identification, the State needs to reevaluate and improve the way it gathers and stores regulatory information from C/P-OC facilities so that the information is rapidly, efficiently, and widely accessible to multiple agencies and producers, and so that important data linkages are maintained. The development of an electronic data collection, archiving, and reporting system to aid compliance, enforcement, and disease risk assessment should be a high priority. Such a system is currently lacking, and its design, development, and implementation should involve both information technology and disease control specialists to ensure an adequate system is developed. · These audit findings also revealed the risk of C/P-OC escapes. In spite of the fact that reporting of releases is mandatory in current regulations, it is clear not only that escapes occur but that they are rarely reported. Of 464 escapes reported to audit inspectors, only 8 releases were apparently reported to MDA. Twenty percent of Class IV and about 14% of Class III C/P-OC facilities experienced escapes, which is likely to be an underestimate. Adding to the risk is the fact that only half of the escaped C/P -OC from Ranches bore identification. Most escaped C/P-OC were reported to have been recovered, yet the time allowed for reporting and recovery under current regulations is suffic ient to add substantial risk of CWD introduction even for recovered animals. The development of more stringent escape and recovery protocols, along with enforcement and stiffening of penalties for nonreporting, is critical. Consideration should be given to measures which would allow agencies to dictate the rapidity and conduct of recovery operations based on risk and automatically make unreported escaped C/P -OC public property and subject to immediate harvest. These protocols should include measures to explicitly provide authority to agencies to manage the harvest of nonnative cervid species. The Natural Resources Commission approved regulations to allow harvest of escaped exotic Cervids in January 2005. The documentation by this audit of another practice, the intentional release of C/P-OC into the wild, is also both notable and deeply troubling. · Uniform regulatory requirements for the composition and maintenance of perimeter fencing should be developed and enforced. Current regulations specify that fences be constructed only of woven wire, yet in practice, C/P-OC facilities use a variety of other materials that agencies consider to be in compliance with the standards. Some of these materials very likely are adequate. Updated regulations should include specific guidance such as (but not limited to) minimum gauge of wire, mesh size, and distance between posts. In addition, the revised regulations need to address the current problematic conflict in fencing standards, which both specify minimum fence heights by species, yet also specifyth t fences need to prevent the ingress and egress of any cervid species. We cannot overstate the crucial role of fences in minimizing the risks of CWD introduction and propagation. In spite of their similar appearances, C/P-OC and free-ranging cervids are separate populations from the standpoint of disease control, and the separation between those populations should be maintained at all times. Good fences not only protect free-ranging cervids from C/P-OC, but vice ers . · Some summary mention of Ranch facilities is warranted because of their unique characteristics and the unique risks they hold for CWD introduction and propagation. This audit found that of the 4 facility classes, Ranches enclosed the largest number of CWD-susceptible C/P-OC (>18,000 statewide), imported the largest numbers of C/P-OC from out-of-state sources (including from CWDpositive states), had the largest percentage of animals lacking individual identification, had the lowest rate of CWD testing, and had the lowest rates of recovery and identification of escapees. In addition, Ranch facilities are located in areas with some of the highest free-ranging WTD densities in the state. If CWD were to infect C/P-OC that subsequently escape from one of these facilities, propagation of CWD in the surrounding free-ranging population would likely be rapid. We do not intend these remarks to stigmatize all Ranch facilities. Some of the best managed C/P-OC facilities in the state are Ranches. However, because of this combination of factors that increase CWD risks, serious v consideration should be given to making registration and fencing requirements for Ranches more stringent than those for other classes of C/P-OC facilities. This may help provide greater assurance that registered facilities will be well managed and economically self-sufficient, and capable of providing needed disease surveillance and management safeguards. · An emerging issue with respect to the risks of CWD introduction and propagation is potential environmental contamination via the manure or carcasses of infected animals. This audit was able to gather some of the first information on the ways that C/P -OC facilities manage and dispose of these materials. This is an area where development of workable regulations should be an ongoing priority for both agriculture and natural resource agencies. While the attention paid to issues of carcass and manure management and disposal is likely to increase in the future because of recent research findings, agencies and the industry must also keep the place of these items in proper perspective within the context of the overall risks of CWD transmission. The available research and the current scientific opinions of preeminent CWD scientists agree that the highest risks for introduction and propagation of the disease are the movements of, and contact between, live animals. The role played by carcasses and manure from infected animals, while by no means negligible, is a distant second in terms of risk importance, with contamination of machinery and equipment an even more distant third. It is critical that disease control experts and policy makers keep this relative risk ranking in mind so that attention, as well as limited time and resources, are not diverted from the most important sources of CWD risk. · Measures of the overall non-compliance of C/P-OC facilities (37% of C/P-OC facilities judged noncompliant by audit inspectors) essentially speak for themselves. While the validity and meaning of these measures can be debated, clearly an appreciable amount of non-compliance exists among C/POC facilities, and there is substantial room for improvement. In many respects, identifying the need for improvements in the C/P-OC industry to minimize the risks of introduction and propagation of CWD, and even suggesting remedies, is the easy part of the process. Much more difficult is the task of finding and applying sufficient resources to make the remedies happen. Agencies and policy makers should harbor no illusions about the amount of funding, personnel, and time neede to ensure the implementation and enforcement of the measures suggested in this report. All will be sizeable, but such support will be necessary if Michigan is serious about minimizing disease risks. It is only fair to point out that many of the problems identified with respect to current C/P -OC regulations and their implementation may have been largely due to a failure to provide the money and expertise necessary to do the job properly. In the end, measures take to revent the introduction and spread of CWD to Michigan will benefit both free-ranging cervids and C/P-OC, and the methods devised to fund risk mitigation measures should reflect that fact. vi Acknowledgments The authors want to acknowledge that even though our names appear on this Final Report, others completed the vast majority of the work of this audit. They deserve a great deal of credit for their efforts, efforts made over and above work schedules that for most were already strained. Primary credit lies with the teams of Conservation Officers and Wildlife Biologists who conducted the audit inspections and with D. Dominic and D. Purol who organized, scheduled, and managed the logistical challenges of hundreds of inspections. Credit is also due to T. Pullen who helped in the organization of photographic data, to J. Kennedy and T. Riebow who spent many hours entering questionnaire data by hand, and to K. Gardiner, Y. Li, T. Oliver and M. Strong who provided mapping expertise. The members of the various audit planning and training committees are too numerous to name here, but their efforts to plan and organize the audit from scratch in less than a month s time were indispensable and nothing short of amazing. Thanks are also due to the Animal Industry Division of the Michigan Department of Agriculture for providing full cooperation and access to their data and records. Finally, credit and thanks are extended to the captive/privately-owned cervid facilities of Michigan and their producer groups, whose cooperation under difficult circumstances allowed this audit to be completed. Preface In writing this Report, we had three primary goals: 1) to provide the best context we could for the potential disease risks (or lack of them) associated with the audit s findings; 2) to comprehensively and accurately document the findings of the audit inspections in the interest of transparency; and 3) to meticulously document the environment, planning, and conduct of the audit, hopefully to provide some guidance and assistance to other groups or agencies faced with a similar task in the future. The Report is long, but this was the unavoidable consequence of our effort to be comprehensive. All audit data that could be summarized and presented in a reasonably concise way are included here, either in the Results themselves or in Appendices. The Report was not written with the intent that everyone would read it cover to cover. Rather, it is organized into sections which were intended to stand on their own. As a result, some issues are covered repeatedly. Of necessity, some topics overlap. The Table of Contents is organized so that a reader with a specific interest in a particular risk topic can locate that topic easily and view a summary of the audit findings relevant to it without having to read the entire report.




Full Text 168 pages...TSS



" Captive/Privately Owned Cervid Facility Audit Report


PDF icon An audit of captive/privately owned cervid facilities that house deer, elk and other animals around the state showed that 37 percent of the facilities are not in compliance with current regulations for the industry.


Executive Summary


Synopsis of the report







Tuesday, September 15, 2015


***Texas TAHC Chronic Wasting Disease Confirmed in Lavaca County Captive White-tailed Deer; Linked to Index Herd ***








Sunday, August 23, 2015


*** TAHC Chronic Wasting Disease CWD TSE Prion and how to put lipstick on a pig and take her to the dance in Texas ***



***They then sold breeding services and semen from the deer to breeders around the U.S.”


Sunday, August 02, 2015


TEXAS CWD, Have you been ThunderStruck, deer semen, straw bred bucks, super ovulation, and the potential TSE Prion connection, what if?




kind regards, terry


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