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Game Farm, CWD Concerns Rise at Boone and Crockett Club

Friday, March 28, 2014 Concerned about captive deer operations transmitting diseases to wild herds, the Boone and Crockett Club now officially supports state bans on commercial import and export of deer or elk.

The Club also opposes efforts to relax regulation of captive cervid breeding operations or to remove management authority over such operations from state wildlife agencies.

A full position statement, posted here, was passed at the Club’s December meeting.

The Club’s concerns were reinforced at the recent Whitetail Summit hosted by the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), the first summit to focus on key issues and challenges facing free-ranging white-tailed deer.

“Of all the presentations, seminars and findings, I was most pleased to see the attention given to the connections between chronic wasting disease (CWD) and the game farming industry. This has been on our radar, and on the radar of QDMA, other conservation groups, state agencies and sportsmen for quite some time,†said Richard Hale, chairman of the Club’s Records Committee.

Hale added, “Congratulations to QDMA on one of the most impressive and well-run summits I’ve had the pleasure of attending and for keeping this issue front and center.â€

CWD is a degenerative brain disease that affects elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, and moose. The disease can be transmitted by direct animal-to-animal contact through saliva, feces and urine, and indirectly through environmental contamination. CWD is fatal in deer, elk and moose, but there is no evidence that CWD can be transmitted to humans, according to the CDC and The World Health Organization.

Documented cases of CWD have been found in captive and/or wild deer and elk in 22 states and two Canadian provinces. In some, but not all, cases where the disease has been found in wild populations, the disease is present in captive populations within these regions.

In 2002, the Boone and Crockett Club, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Mule Deer Foundation formed the CWD Alliance. Its purpose was to pool resources, share information and collaborate on ways to positively address the CWD issue. Other organizations have since joined the Alliance, including QDMA and the Wildlife Management Institute, which now administers the Alliance website www.cwd-info.org.

“Evidence strongly suggests that captive animals infected with CWD can serve as the source for the spread of the disease to other captive animals, and between captive animals and wild populations,†said Hale. “To reduce the risk to wild deer populations, several states passed laws prohibiting game farming or live captive deer and elk importation, but now they are fighting efforts to expand captive deer and elk breeding and shooting operations within their jurisdictions. The captive cervid industry is persistent in proposing new legislations to overturn these laws, or transfer the authority of captive deer and elk from state fish and game agencies to their respective departments of agriculture.â€

No vaccine or treatment is available for animals infected with CWD and once established in a population, culling or complete depopulation to eradicate CWD has provided only marginal results. In fact, the prevalence of CWD is rising at an alarming rate in some infected wild deer populations. Prevention is the only truly effective technique for managing diseases in free-ranging wildlife populations. Consequently, what can be done is minimizing the spread of CWD by restricting intra- and interstate transportation captive, privately owned wildlife, which frequently occurs in game farming.

http://www.boone-crockett.org/news/featured_story.asp?area=news&ID=204

boone and crockett club position statement

REGULATION OF GAME FARMS First Adopted December 7, 2013 - Updated December 7, 2013

Situational Overview

The captive cervid industry, also referred to as game farming, uses artificial means to breed captive deer, elk, and other cervids for sale in shooting preserve operations. These game farms commonly transport captive deer and elk to other shooting preserves in a state or in other states.

Transportation of captive, game farm animals has been shown to increase the risk of spreading parasites and infectious, diseases, such as chronic wasting disease (CWD) and bovine tuberculosis, to other captive and wild cervids in new locations. There is currently no way of testing live animals for CWD, and infected animals show no signs for at least 16-18 months post-infection. There is no vaccine, and despite fenced enclosures, captive animals often come in contact with wild populations thereby spreading diseases. Once CWD is present, the area cannot be decontaminated even if infected animals are removed. As a result, many states have banned or are attempting to ban the importation of captive cervids (as well as intact carcasses of hunter-killed, wild cervids) to lower the risk of spreading CWD and other infectious diseases.

Position

The Boone and Crockett Club supports state bans on importing or exporting captive deer and elk by game farming operations in order to protect the health of native populations. The Club opposes any legislation aimed at relaxing regulations governing captive cervid breeding operations or removing management authority over such operations from state wildlife agencies. The Club does not oppose the transportation of wild cervids by state agencies and non-governmental organizations for the purpose of re-establishing wild game animals to their historic, open ranges.

The breeding of captive deer, elk, and other cervids for profit to create abnormally large “trophy†animals for fenced shoots under non-fair chase conditions are addressed in the Boone and Crockett Club’s positions on “Genetic Manipulation of Game†and “Canned Shoots.â€

http://www.boone-crockett.org/about/positions_GameFarms.asp?area=about&ID=6B455080&se=1&te=1

for anyone interested, see some history and other scientific factors supporting what BCC states about risk factors from game farms and cwd see ;

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Game Farm, CWD Concerns Rise at Boone and Crockett Club

http://chronic-wasting-disease.blogspot.com/2014/03/game-farm-cwd-concerns-rise-at-boone.html

kind regards,
terry
 

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They have been front and center to bring more focus on this for several years. I hope they keep screaming loud and long until more folks are aware of what it is.
 
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