Sunday, July 13, 2014

Louisiana deer mystery unleashes litigation 6 does still missing from CWD index herd in Pennsylvania Great Escape

Missing deer mystery unleashes litigation


 Photo provided Donald Hodge Jr. -- Donald Hodge Sr. owned a deer farm until his death in 2012. His death and the search for six does ignited a legal battle. Photo provided Donald Hodge Jr. -- Donald Hodge Sr. owned a deer farm until his death in 2012. His death and the search for six does ignited a legal battle. Man’s death leaves fate of sick animals unclear


The day that Donald Hodge Sr. fell and died in Allen Parish, state agriculture officials issued a quarantine against his Lake Charles deer farm.

What the officials were after in October 2012 were six does that had been on a Pennsylvania farm tainted with chronic wasting disease. Called CWD, it is to deer what mad cow disease is to cows. Officials wanted to find the does and kill them before CWD became an epidemic in Louisiana.

What the officials got was a big mystery. There were deer at Hodge’s farm, but none of them had the tags that should have been on the six does. Hodge himself was lying dead in the woods. Exactly where the does ended up remains unclear. Among the possibilities is that they were smuggled into Mississippi, where they met their end at an illegal deer farm.

Hodge’s death and the search for the does unleashed a legal mess that includes civil litigation and a federal investigation. Hodge’s son Donald Hodge Jr. is at war with his father’s former business partners. The state just wants an end to the legal saga. Meanwhile, government officials want to know what happened to those six does.

CWD is a neurological disorder that causes lesions in the brain. It infects deer and elk. It is contagious and fatal.

◾Comus bal masque hosts ‘Meeting of the Courts’ As soon as state Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain received word in 2012 that Donald Hodge Sr. might have purchased infected deer from a Pennsylvania farm, he took action. Strain’s agency placed a quarantine on the Hodge farm. Strain also halted permits for the importation of rocky mountain elk, red deer, mule deer, black-tailed deer, white-tailed deer and sika deer into Louisiana. The statewide ban on permits remains in effect.

Hodge operated a white-tailed deer farm in Calcasieu Parish. Such ventures can be profitable because they attract hunting clubs interested in shooting pens. A profitable deer farmer breeds bucks to produce sizable antlers.

The same day the quarantine was placed, Hodge fell out of his deer stand in Allen Parish and died. It was two days before his body was found. His surviving children were left behind to answer questions raised by government officials.

The state insists the paper trail shows the six does in question were supposed to be at the Hodge farm. “That’s where they were, until we went to check,” said Lafayette attorney Holden Haggatt, who is representing the state.

Donald Hodge Jr. said the does were never at his father’s farm. He said it was convenient for his father’s business partners to put the entire blame on a dead man for does that likely were offloaded in the middle of the night and driven into Mississippi to an illegal deer farming operation. “It’s hard to ask someone when they’re not here anymore,” he said.

The uncertainty created a mess. If the does had been at the Hodge farm, even briefly, then the rest of the herd needed to be quarantined and possibly euthanized. If the does were never there, then Donald Hodge Sr.’s children could sell the herd and close down the farm.

Hodge, an attorney in Baton Rouge, sued the Agriculture Department. He objected to the two options he was given for his father’s deer farm: A five-year quarantine on the deer there or a killing of the entire herd. The family wanted the quarantine lifted so they could sell the herd. Eventually, the two parties settled and agreed to a mass killing. More than 100 deer were euthanized, putting Donald Hodge Sr.’s short-lived deer farm out of business. None of the deer tested positive for CWD posthumously.

The state contributed to the euthanization expenses, but Hodge said his family still is out $500,000 for the value of deer who were never sick. He said he turned over his father’s business and email records in an attempt to convince the state that the six does were never at the Hodge farm. “For Mike Strain, no amount of proof was good enough for him. It had to be 100 percent,” Hodge said.

Haggatt said the paperwork indicates the does were supposed to be at the Hodge farm. He said the deer had to be euthanized in order to be tested for CWD.

Hodge reignited his legal quarrel with the state by suing his father’s former business partners. He contends the business partners lied about the does being at the Hodge farm simply to cover up their misdeeds. “My dad died the day of the quarantine, so it’s convenient to put the blame on him,” he said.

The state has intervened to toss out the lawsuit against the business partners. A hearing on a temporary restraining order is scheduled for July 14 in the 19th Judicial District. Haggatt said the issue has been litigated enough in civil court.

“The matter’s been concluded. We’d like to move on to other business,” Haggatt said.

Meanwhile, the state still doesn’t know what happened to the six missing does. Federal officials are on the trail.

Jeff Carrier, an attorney for one of Donald Hodge Sr.’s business partners, said he doesn’t know the ins and outs of what happened to the does. He said Donald Hodge Sr. was the big ballplayer with the connections for buying deer.

“I believe they’re all dead. The person responsible for getting them here is dead now,” Carrier said.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012



it seems that several deer from Pennsylvania CWD exposed herd, or cohorts, were brought to Louisiana via Donald Hodge Sr. 6 deer were transported from PA to LA by Mr. Elmer Fisher, and the truck driver was Dustin Miller. here is where the story gets a bit tricky. seems there are NO records of the deer actually ever arriving at Donald Hodge Sr.’s Farm. seems that they were suppose to go to Lafayette Louisiana, but, seems he had a silent partner, a Jarrod somebody? the son was not sure. the son said that from his fathers notes (that’s all they had to go by), these 6 deer from PA never reached his farm, even though his Dad signed for them. the 6 deer were never logged into inventory, there were no tags, no micro chips from them found. the Dept. of Ag took soil samples. to date, the son said everything at his Dad’s farm is negative. now here is where the story gets even more fishy. the location changed from Lafayette Louisiana , to a location of an unregistered hunting club, or shooting pen, as he called it, and there was some attempted deal between the silent partner, and the delivery driver, to bring the 6 deer to this shooting pen in the area of Slidell Louisiana instead. the driver was offered $1,000. to take the deer there. but he refused, so evidently, the silent partner set up a meeting place, where another trailer was brought in, and the deer were then boxed up, and sent to this shooting pen up around Slidell Louisiana, somewhere along the Mississippi border. that is where the trail runs cold for these 6 deer from PA. the Donald Hodge Farm in LA, has about 160 cervids. NONE have been slaughtered or tested to date, and are being fed, and they are under quarantine. seems in Louisiana, there are no requirements for IN STATE movement of cervids from what Jr. told me. Donald Jr. told me the Dept. of Ag says there are two options if these 6 deer are not located.

 1. kill the whole herd

 2. Quarantine for 5 years.

 Donald Jr. told me he could not afford to quarantine for 5 years.

 seems right now, everything is in a holding pattern by the Dept of Ag, until they can locate the 6 deer from PA.

 the Son told me that he was told there is NO indemnity program if they slaughter the deer.

 It’s really a sad situation. Donald Hodge Sr., died Oct. 16 in a hunting accident, and Oct. 17 his farm was quarantined, and the family is beside themselves to say the least, as you can understand.



Wednesday, November 14, 2012





Tuesday, October 23, 2012


PA Captive deer from CWD-positive farm roaming free



Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Chronic Wasting Disease CWD quarantine Louisiana via CWD index herd Pennsylvania Update May 28, 2013


*** 6 doe from Pennsylvania CWD index herd still on the loose in Louisiana, quarantine began on October 18, 2012, still ongoing, Lake Charles premises.



Saturday, June 29, 2013





Tuesday, June 11, 2013


*** CWD GONE WILD, More cervid escapees from more shooting pens on the loose in Pennsylvania




Sunday, January 06, 2013




*** "it‘s no longer its business.”




”The occurrence of CWD must be viewed against the contest of the locations in which it occurred. It was an incidental and unwelcome complication of the respective wildlife research programmes. Despite it’s subsequent recognition as a new disease of cervids, therefore justifying direct investigation, no specific research funding was forthcoming. The USDA veiwed it as a wildlife problem and consequently not their province!” 26.




I guess we will never know where those six doe are from CWD index herd in Pennsylvania ??? but don’t forget ;



Saturday, February 04, 2012


*** Wisconsin 16 age limit on testing dead deer Game Farm CWD Testing Protocol Needs To Be Revised


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.


Saturday, February 04, 2012


*** Wisconsin 16 age limit on testing dead deer Game Farm CWD Testing Protocol Needs To Be Revised



Infectious agent of sheep scrapie may persist in the environment for at least 16 years


Gudmundur Georgsson1, Sigurdur Sigurdarson2 and Paul Brown3



New studies on the heat resistance of hamster-adapted scrapie agent: Threshold survival after ashing at 600°C suggests an inorganic template of replication



Prion Infected Meat-and-Bone Meal Is Still Infectious after Biodiesel Production



Detection of protease-resistant cervid prion protein in water from a CWD-endemic area



A Quantitative Assessment of the Amount of Prion Diverted to Category 1 Materials and Wastewater During Processing



Rapid assessment of bovine spongiform encephalopathy prion inactivation by heat treatment in yellow grease produced in the industrial manufacturing process of meat and bone meals





Survival and Limited Spread of TSE Infectivity after Burial



Sunday, September 01, 2013


hunting over gut piles and CWD TSE prion disease



Sunday, April 13, 2014


Mineral licks: motivational factors for visitation and accompanying disease risk at communal use sites of elk and deer


Environmental Geochemistry and Health



Monday, June 18, 2012


natural cases of CWD in eight Sika deer (Cervus nippon) and five Sika/red deer crossbreeds captive Korea and Experimental oral transmission to red deer (Cervus elaphus elaphus)



spreading cwd around...tss


Between 1996 and 2002, chronic wasting disease was diagnosed in 39 herds of farmed elk in Saskatchewan in a single epidemic. All of these herds were depopulated as part of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) disease eradication program. Animals, primarily over 12 mo of age, were tested for the presence CWD prions following euthanasia. Twenty-one of the herds were linked through movements of live animals with latent CWD from a single infected source herd in Saskatchewan, 17 through movements of animals from 7 of the secondarily infected herds.


***The source herd is believed to have become infected via importation of animals from a game farm in South Dakota where CWD was subsequently diagnosed (7,4). A wide range in herd prevalence of CWD at the time of herd depopulation of these herds was observed. Within-herd transmission was observed on some farms, while the disease remained confined to the introduced animals on other farms.



spreading cwd around...tss


Friday, May 13, 2011


Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) outbreaks and surveillance program in the Republic of Korea Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) outbreaks and surveillance program in the Republic of Korea


Hyun-Joo Sohn, Yoon-Hee Lee, Min-jeong Kim, Eun-Im Yun, Hyo-Jin Kim, Won-Yong Lee, Dong-Seob Tark, In- Soo Cho, Foreign Animal Disease Research Division, National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service, Republic of Korea


Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been recognized as an important prion disease in native North America deer and Rocky mountain elks. The disease is a unique member of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), which naturally affects only a few species. CWD had been limited to USA and Canada until 2000.


On 28 December 2000, information from the Canadian government showed that a total of 95 elk had been exported from farms with CWD to Korea. These consisted of 23 elk in 1994 originating from the so-called “source farm” in Canada, and 72 elk in 1997, which had been held in pre export quarantine at the “source farm”.Based on export information of CWD suspected elk from Canada to Korea, CWD surveillance program was initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) in 2001.


All elks imported in 1997 were traced back, however elks imported in 1994 were impossible to identify. CWD control measures included stamping out of all animals in the affected farm, and thorough cleaning and disinfection of the premises. In addition, nationwide clinical surveillance of Korean native cervids, and improved measures to ensure reporting of CWD suspect cases were implemented.


Total of 9 elks were found to be affected. CWD was designated as a notifiable disease under the Act for Prevention of Livestock Epidemics in 2002.


Additional CWD cases - 12 elks and 2 elks - were diagnosed in 2004 and 2005.


Since February of 2005, when slaughtered elks were found to be positive, all slaughtered cervid for human consumption at abattoirs were designated as target of the CWD surveillance program. Currently, CWD laboratory testing is only conducted by National Reference Laboratory on CWD, which is the Foreign Animal Disease Division (FADD) of National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service (NVRQS).


In July 2010, one out of 3 elks from Farm 1 which were slaughtered for the human consumption was confirmed as positive. Consequently, all cervid – 54 elks, 41 Sika deer and 5 Albino deer – were culled and one elk was found to be positive. Epidemiological investigations were conducted by Veterinary Epidemiology Division (VED) of NVRQS in collaboration with provincial veterinary services.


Epidemiologically related farms were found as 3 farms and all cervid at these farms were culled and subjected to CWD diagnosis. Three elks and 5 crossbreeds (Red deer and Sika deer) were confirmed as positive at farm 2.


All cervids at Farm 3 and Farm 4 – 15 elks and 47 elks – were culled and confirmed as negative.


Further epidemiological investigations showed that these CWD outbreaks were linked to the importation of elks from Canada in 1994 based on circumstantial evidences.


In December 2010, one elk was confirmed as positive at Farm 5. Consequently, all cervid – 3 elks, 11 Manchurian Sika deer and 20 Sika deer – were culled and one Manchurian Sika deer and seven Sika deer were found to be positive. This is the first report of CWD in these sub-species of deer. Epidemiological investigations found that the owner of the Farm 2 in CWD outbreaks in July 2010 had co-owned the Farm 5.


In addition, it was newly revealed that one positive elk was introduced from Farm 6 of Jinju-si Gyeongsang Namdo. All cervid – 19 elks, 15 crossbreed (species unknown) and 64 Sika deer – of Farm 6 were culled, but all confirmed as negative.


: Corresponding author: Dr. Hyun-Joo Sohn (+82-31-467-1867, E-mail: 2011 Pre-congress Workshop: TSEs in animals and their environment 5





Friday, May 13, 2011


Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) outbreaks and surveillance program in the Republic of Korea




Tuesday, July 01, 2014





Thursday, July 03, 2014


*** How Chronic Wasting Disease is affecting deer population and what’s the risk to humans and pets? ***









Conclusions. To our knowledge, this is the first established experimental model of CWD in TgSB3985. We found evidence for co-existence or divergence of two CWD strains adapted to Tga20 mice and their replication in TgSB3985 mice. Finally, we observed phenotypic differences between cervid-derived CWD and CWD/Tg20 strains upon propagation in TgSB3985 mice. Further studies are underway to characterize these strains.


We conclude that TSE infectivity is likely to survive burial for long time periods with minimal loss of infectivity and limited movement from the original burial site. However PMCA results have shown that there is the potential for rainwater to elute TSE related material from soil which could lead to the contamination of a wider area. These experiments reinforce the importance of risk assessment when disposing of TSE risk materials.


The results show that even highly diluted PrPSc can bind efficiently to polypropylene, stainless steel, glass, wood and stone and propagate the conversion of normal prion protein. For in vivo experiments, hamsters were ic injected with implants incubated in 1% 263K-infected brain homogenate. Hamsters, inoculated with 263K-contaminated implants of all groups, developed typical signs of prion disease, whereas control animals inoculated with non-contaminated materials did not.


Our data establish that meadow voles are permissive to CWD via peripheral exposure route, suggesting they could serve as an environmental reservoir for CWD. Additionally, our data are consistent with the hypothesis that at least two strains of CWD circulate in naturally-infected cervid populations and provide evidence that meadow voles are a useful tool for CWD strain typing.


Conclusion. CWD prions are shed in saliva and urine of infected deer as early as 3 months post infection and throughout the subsequent >1.5 year course of infection. In current work we are examining the relationship of prionemia to excretion and the impact of excreted prion binding to surfaces and particulates in the environment.


Conclusion. CWD prions (as inferred by prion seeding activity by RT-QuIC) are shed in urine of infected deer as early as 6 months post inoculation and throughout the subsequent disease course. Further studies are in progress refining the real-time urinary prion assay sensitivity and we are examining more closely the excretion time frame, magnitude, and sample variables in relationship to inoculation route and prionemia in naturally and experimentally CWD-infected cervids.


Conclusions. Our results suggested that the odds of infection for CWD is likely controlled by areas that congregate deer thus increasing direct transmission (deer-to-deer interactions) or indirect transmission (deer-to-environment) by sharing or depositing infectious prion proteins in these preferred habitats. Epidemiology of CWD in the eastern U.S. is likely controlled by separate factors than found in the Midwestern and endemic areas for CWD and can assist in performing more efficient surveillance efforts for the region.


Conclusions. During the pre-symptomatic stage of CWD infection and throughout the course of disease deer may be shedding multiple LD50 doses per day in their saliva. CWD prion shedding through saliva and excreta may account for the unprecedented spread of this prion disease in nature.


P.28: Modeling prion species barriers and the new host effect using RT-QuIC


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


The propensity for trans-species prion transmission is related to the structural characteristics of the enciphering and heterologous PrP, but the exact mechanism remains mostly mysterious.


Studies of the effects of primary or tertiary prion protein Prion 37 structures on trans-species prion transmission have relied upon animal bioassays, making the influence of prion protein structure vs. host co-factors (e.g. cellular constituents, trafficking, and innate immune interactions) difficult to dissect.


As an alternative strategy, we are using real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) to investigate the propensity for and the kinetics of trans-species prion conversion. RT-QuIC has the advantage of providing more defined conditions of seeded conversion to study the specific role of native PrP:PrPRES interactions as a component of the species barrier.


We are comparing chronic wasting disease (CWD) and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prions by seeding each prion into its native host recPrP (full-length bovine recPrP, or white tail deer recPrP) vs. into the heterologous species.


Upon establishing the characteristics of intra-species and inter-species prion seeding for CWD and BSE prions, we will evaluate the seeding kinetics and cross-species seeding efficiencies of BSE and CWD passaged into a common new host—feline—shown to be a permissive host for both CWD and BSE.


*** We hypothesize that both BSE prions and CWD prions passaged through felines will seed human recPrP more efficiently than BSE or CWD from the original hosts, evidence that the new host will dampen the species barrier between humans and BSE or CWD. The new host effect is particularly relevant as we investigate potential means of trans-species transmission of prion disease.





Monday, June 23, 2014





Monday, June 23, 2014





Sunday, June 29, 2014


Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy TSE Prion Disease North America 2014






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