Discussion in 'Deer Management, Habitat & Conservation' started by hazelvillebucks, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. hazelvillebucks

    hazelvillebucks Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2014
    Game and Fish had taken steps to guard against CWD, collecting samples from elk since 1997 and in deer since 2003, making it illegal to transport intact carcasses into the state and taking other steps. When the positive result came back, the agency dusted off a 2006 response plan it hoped it would never need, updated it and, after consulting with national experts, decided to establish a new section at the agency: The Research, Evaluation and Compliance Division. Game and Fish asked Gray to manage the division and in January hired the agency's first wildlife veterinarian, Dr. Jenn Ballard, a North Little Rock native who also holds a Ph.D. in veterinary and biomedical science with an emphasis in population health.

    "If there is one good thing that comes out of CWD," Gray said, "it is that we created this new division." CWD won't be its only research, but for now it's the major focus.

    Chronic wasting disease first turned up in 1965 in a research facility in Colorado, where sheep infected with scrapie (a neurodegenerative disease) were being kept along with mule deer. The researchers couldn't keep the deer alive; it's thought the prions shed by the sheep had mutated into a form infectious to the mule deer. The CWD prion affects reindeer as well as mule deer, elk and white-tailed deer.

    A random harvest last year of 266 deer from a test area roughly 20 miles long and 10 miles wide in Newton County found that 62 deer — 23 percent — had CWD.

    When Gray got the results from that harvest, "it was not a happy day," he said. "You spend your whole career managing a resource and investing so much of yourself in that resource, and the commission has implemented regulations ... to prevent [CWD transmission]. And now we've detected it. It's a punch in the gut."

    A brain infected with the disease looks like Swiss cheese, riddled with small holes. Other prion diseases include mad cow (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), scrapie (in sheep), Creutzfeld-Jakob (a human variant) and kuru (also a human variant, known from a New Guinea tribe whose members ate the brains of their ancestors).

    Prions are scary things: The mad cow outbreak in the 1990s in the United Kingdom was linked to human deaths from Creutzfeld-Jakob; scientists suggested the disease was transmitted by the consumption of tainted beef. The European Union and the United States banned the import of British beef, and Great Britain eventually ordered the slaughter of millions of cows and bulls. Since then, there have been four cases of humans dying from the human variant of mad cow in the United States.

    The prion that causes CWD cannot be cooked away or otherwise destroyed. Once it's in the environment, via excrement or urine from infected animals, it's there forever. Game and Fish disposes its infected tissue samples in an incinerator that heats to 1,700 degrees F. But because you can't burn up a prion, ashes from the incinerator are placed in metal containers before being disposed of in landfills.

    Which begs the question: If you eat a deer infected with CWD, do you risk getting a prion disease?

    It's possible, the Centers for Disease Control says, but undetected as of yet. For now, Gray said, Game and Fish encourages hunters not to consume their venison until samples from the deer or elk come back negative. "That's a personal choice," Gray said. "We try to provide a rapid turnaround" for results, usually seven days.

    The new Game and Fish research division will also employ a director, a "human dimensions specialist" to do outreach to the public and social surveys, a biostatistician and research biologists. In 2016, Gray and other Game and Fish staff focused on work to determine disease prevalence and location. They set up stations across the state during modern gun season last year to take samples of harvested animals, and also sampled road kill and "targeted animals" — any animal exhibiting symptoms of the disease. Taxidermists statewide helped with the sampling.

    The epicenter of the disease is in Newton County. The CWD Management Zone also includes Boone, Carroll, Johnson, Logan, Madison, Marion, Pope, Searcy and Yell counties. (Inclusion in the zone does not mean that CWD-infected animals have been found; it means that part of the county falls within a 10-mile radius of a diseased animal.) Bag limits within certain zones have been liberalized to reduce the population of possibly infected deer, and Game and Fish has made it illegal to transport deer or elk carcasses out of the CWD Zone except for antlers, cleaned skulls, deboned meat, cleaned teeth, hides or finished taxidermied products. Starting Jan. 1 of this year, Game and Fish made it unlawful statewide to use natural scents or lures containing deer and elk urine or other biofluids.

    All elk harvested statewide must be checked so that samples may be taken for CWD testing.

    The research division is now gearing up to take genetic samples of elk and deer, both to create a database and to see the relationship between the individual CWD-positive animals. Western state biologists are studying elk DNA to see if they can identify resistant genes.

    The division is also partnering with UA Little Rock to survey Arkansas hunters to see if they've changed their hunting practices, whether they're willing to have their animals tested, how far they're willing to drive to do that, and so forth.

    Game and Fish is hoping to partner with the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission to be able to use its laboratories to speed up testing.

    "This is really where conservation is moving in the future," Dr. Ballard said: Agencies are "recognizing the role that veterinarians play alongside biologists."
  2. henry

    henry Fan Boy aka Mr Twisty and

    We have had an Mdc veterinary for years hazel.
    MeatHunter likes this.

  3. wiser1

    wiser1 Trash Picker

    Apr 15, 2013
    Jefferson county
    Who is the veterinary ?
  4. henry

    henry Fan Boy aka Mr Twisty and

    I don't know who the new one is. The last one was Kelly straka or something like that.
  5. wiser1

    wiser1 Trash Picker

    Apr 15, 2013
    Jefferson county
    She Gone .......
  6. henry

    henry Fan Boy aka Mr Twisty and

    She is in Michigan or there abouts now.
  7. wiser1

    wiser1 Trash Picker

    Apr 15, 2013
    Jefferson county
    Sherri Russel looks like the new one
  8. Rack_Hunter

    Rack_Hunter Sensitivity Aficionado

    E65969F9-13AB-43F7-96C3-D4BAAEFE1EB4.png I don’t know who she is, but here are 7 “friendly’” tips to get her into bed compliments of the owners!!
  9. Satch

    Satch Senior Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    Central MO
    Guess the family friendly days are over. Waiting for the viagra and cialas ads any day now.

    Wonder if the ad will help with the spread of prions.
    20' and KChunter like this.
  10. bajabill

    bajabill BDR529

    Feb 16, 2012
    East Central MO
    reading the title of the thread, I thought I was going to open it to find that the good Dr. Bastain has been hired by the Arkansas Division of CWD Cure.

    What they are doing, according to the article, is certainly reasonable and within normal progression of study relative to what is currently known. Leave the hype at the door.
  11. 20'

    20' Well-Known Member

    Aug 9, 2017
    is she married to her brother?
  12. Mailman

    Mailman Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    Blue Springs Mo

    Is it TRACT....or TRACK?
  13. 90acres

    90acres The good ole days

    Mar 4, 2003
    Dang it, I tried clicking on it 3 times.
  14. hazelvillebucks

    hazelvillebucks Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2014
    but some here say we should not have a sub department of plant and animal disease, that we should not invest in the tools to do the job.Arkansas is promising 7days to get back cwd test results from in house testing.They are set to up honer the fine wording in there cwd action plan that pledges to collect and analyze the evidence that might drive scientific advancement in the fight.Arkansas is engaging the demon. It appears that mdc is now having meeting where they lay out there prudency but no longer seek the public questions and comments from those who are affected by the non plan.
  15. btechCPx

    btechCPx New Member

    Aug 13, 2017
    For whatever it's worth, those advertisements that pop up are more a reflection of your google searches.
    Wings Fan 19 and 20' like this.
  16. Hawk

    Hawk Well-Known Member Sponsor

    Oct 15, 2009
    Awesome. We can send our samples to them...
  17. henry

    henry Fan Boy aka Mr Twisty and

    We shouldn't have epidemiologist . Studying the deer population is what wildlife biologists are supposed to do. That's what they are doing under the guidance of a veterinarian to study the disease within the population.kind of like almost every other state that has cwd within its borders.
  18. hazelvillebucks

    hazelvillebucks Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2014