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Thread: Prion Poisoning in the ZOGland

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default Prion Poisoning in the ZOGland

    Efforts to stop a fatal deer disease in Missouri splits hunters

    By Tim O'Neil, Saint Louis Post-Dispatch
    December 26, 2013 12:15 am


    When is Bambi the deer like Bessie the cow?

    It’s a question likely to come before the Missouri Legislature this year in a conflict over ways to contain a rare but fatal illness afflicting deer and elk called chronic wasting disease, or CWD. Since 2010, when the first case was confirmed in the state, 20 more dead deer have tested positive for the disease, all within a two-county area in north-central Missouri.

    The first case was on a private hunting ranch in Linn County. The next 10 were confirmed on an affiliated hunting ranch in adjoining Macon County. The remainder were wild deer taken by hunters within a few miles of the Macon ranch.

    The proximity of the cases has sharpened the disagreement between conservationists and owners of fenced hunting ranches, which cater to high-dollar hunters in search of impressive trophies. The political issue is likely to turn on the definition of “livestock.”

    The Missouri Department of Conservation, charged with approving operating permits for the hunting ranches, is considering stricter rules. Because ranches usually get their deer from breeders, sometimes from other states, the department says it wants to ensure that chronic wasting disease doesn’t travel by truck and spread across fences into the wild.

    A controversial option under review is to require ranches to build higher, double fences — something the operators consider expensive and offensive.

    For that and other aggravations, the Missouri Whitetail Breeders and Hunting Ranch Association wants to be freed from the Conservation Department altogether. Sam James, association president, said it plans to ask the Legislature to declare their captive deer “livestock” — like cattle and sheep — regulated only by the state Department of Agriculture.

    The Agriculture Department oversees the health of captive animals. The Conservation Department is charged with protecting Missouri’s 1.4 million deer, all of which are considered wild animals.

    Aaron Jeffries, assistant director of the Conservation Department, said it is working on the rule changes and isn’t ready to offer them for public review. This year, the department held eight public meetings, including one at Powder Valley Nature Center in Kirkwood, to discuss ideas with residents.

    James said his group will seek legislative relief in the session beginning Jan. 8.

    “I think Conservation is trying to put us out of business,” said James, who owns the two Whitetail Dreams hunting ranches near Fulton. “There are people (in the department) who don’t approve of what we do, and we’ve had enough of it. Putting us under one state agency makes much more sense, and Agriculture can do the better job.”

    Jeffries said the department does not object to hunting ranches but represents all of Missouri’s hunters and wildlife enthusiasts. Missouri is home to more than 40 private hunting ranches, about 250 deer breeders and 520,000 ordinary hunters.

    “With captive deer being transported across our landscape, we need to enhance our fencing standards,” Jeffries said. “To define a captive deer as livestock is not a good road to go. Our job is to protect deer on both sides of the fence.”


    Missouri’s last case of chronic wasting disease was confirmed in March. State biologists are testing samples volunteered by hunters from the fall deer seasons, but won’t have results until mid-January.

    CWD is caused by a mutated protein, or prion, that attacks the nervous system. It does not harm humans but is fatal to deer or elk. Infected animals don’t show symptoms for 18 months or more. The prion can be spread by live deer or carcasses, even from soil in which they decompose. There is no cure or way to test live deer for infection.

    The disease was first isolated in Colorado in 1967 and has been confirmed in 21 other states. Roughly that many, including Tennessee and Arkansas, restrict or ban transportation of deer across state lines because of CWD. Missouri allows it.

    Previous legislative efforts to redefine captive deer have fizzled, but the number of CWD cases has raised the issue’s profile. A special interim House committee held traveling hearings in the summer and fall. It issued a one-page report Nov. 8 without a specific recommendation, other than to say the Legislature should take action if opposing parties can’t resolve things.

    The committee said the state’s twin goals should be “protecting our state’s wildlife and ensuring that the deer-breeding and hunting-preserve industry is not unduly burdened.”

    State Rep. Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo, the House majority whip, said in an interview that she hadn’t made up her mind on the issue. But Crawford said the Agriculture Department probably is better equipped than Conservation to deal with it. She said of the hunting-ranch operators, “They are legitimately worried that Conservation will impose rules that will make for a very big financial burden upon them.”

    Richard Ash Jr., president of the private Conservation Federation of Missouri, said similar sentiments uttered by committee members last summer “makes it pretty clear they are biased toward the high-fence hunting industry.” Ash said the federation is preparing to lobby legislators to preserve the Conservation Department’s role as the best way to contain the spread of CWD in Missouri’s wild deer population.

    “We believe deer are wildlife, not cows or pigs,” said Ash, of Ozark, Mo. “I can’t hunt a cow. But if I see a deer, how am I supposed to know if it’s livestock or not?”

    Joe Humphrey, owner of Beaver Creek Ranch near Poplar Bluff, said hunting-ranch operators already have strong business reasons not to let CWD spread in any herd, captive or wild. Humphrey, who also is Butler County treasurer, said operators can’t survive if the state keeps changing rules or imposing expensive ones that wouldn’t stop the disease anyway.

    “How does it fix this by killing our industry?” he said.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    jewplin Missery

    Default 'Chronic wasting' disease infecting deer in Missouri

    'Chronic wasting' disease infecting deer in Missouri (since 2008?)

    By Larry Dablemont, Globe Columnist
    Mar 18, 2012


    Two wild deer in Macon County, Mo., were were found during the past deer season infected with what is known scientifically as “chronic wasting” disease.

    You have also heard it referred to as mad deer disease. What most hunters don’t know is that this disease was found years before in Macon County pen-raised deer, and kept pretty well hidden from the public.

    A few years ago I wrote about how Colorado closed down all pen-raised deer and elk operations because of the chronic wasting disease, in an effort to keep it from spreading to their wild deer and elk. Because they acted when they did, they don’t have a problem with their wild deer today. Because Missouri wouldn’t take the same steps, I think we will have. I hope I am wrong. But they don’t test that many deer each year, and if they found two, who knows how many other deer have it.

    If the disease doesn’t eventually spread throughout northern Missouri around Macon County, it will be a miracle. In northern Illinois and Wisconsin, it spread so much they killed about a quarter-million deer trying to stop it.

    Men created a similar problem, something referred to as “mad cow disease” in England. It was a result of greedy people trying to make more money through heavier cattle by feeding them a type of feed that contained meat and bone by-products. Essentially, cattle were being fed a diet of meat and bone meal from other cattle to make them produce more milk and beef. Like deer, they are not meat-eaters. They are totally herbivorous.

    People with an eye toward making easy money used the same method in an attempt to raise bigger buck deer with antlers larger than any seen before, so they could sell them to “trophy hunters.” It did indeed make those antlers bigger and bigger, and they created chronic wasting disease.

    Instead of eliminating those farms like Colorado did, we just watched them increase in number throughout the Midwest. Today they are all over, and many of them are owned by young Amish or Mennonite people, who seem suddenly fascinated with the prospect of getting rich quick by raising bucks they can sell for perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. It seems to go against what their ancestors taught and believed in.

    About 10 or 12 years ago, I was hunting in north Missouri’s Macon County when a young Amish man with deer pens had two of his prize bucks killed in the middle of the night by a thief. The intruder was after those antlers, worth thousands of dollars. The Amish fellow, whom I couldn’t photograph because of his beliefs, rushed to a neighbor and woke him up to use his phone about 3 a.m. because his beliefs also kept him from having a phone in his own home. Luckily, he did believe in insurance, and was paid for his loss, amounting to thousands of dollars.

    It was some time later that I learned another Amish farmer in north Missouri had purchased two doe deer from other Amish farmers in Ohio for more than $20,000.

    I wonder, now that it is known that several pen-raised deer in north Missouri have tested positive for this devastating disease, if the insurance companies will keep insuring them. Of course, it doesn’t matter if big bucks raised in farm pens have a disease, as long as they have those big antlers. Often they are killed by trophy hunters who are paying tens of thousands of dollars to shoot them in small enclosures, just for the antlers. The meat isn’t eaten.

    An official of the Missouri Department of Conservation told me we will know soon if the disease is spreading around Macon County. He said that MDC personnel, farmers, ranchers, landowners, and groups which he called “shooting teams,” have killed 600 deer in January and February, and they are being tested. The results should be in soon.

    He says the meat from non-diseased deer will not be wasted as it will be given to those who killed them, or donated to food harvests, food pantries, etc.

    One thing he pointed out is that it has not been proven that the chronic wasting disease can spread to humans eating the meat. Mad cow disease, also known as Jakob Cruetzfeldt (Jacob Crutchfield) disease has been known to spread to humans who ate meat from diseased animals. But there is a lot of argument about that, and many deny it saying the absolute proof is hard to come by. Apparently about 200 people per year contract the disease in the U.S., whatever causes it.

    Mad deer disease, chronic wasting, is not the same disease, though it is similar, and apparently was created in the same manner, with meat by-products being fed to herbivorous animals. You can defend trophy hunting and trophy hunters all you want to, but chronic wasting disease is a direct result of that kind of “scoring antlers” mentality.

    All the shit unfit to print


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default Prions jump species barrier

    Prions jump species barrier

    Test tube experiments may help identify the most hazardous prion proteins.

    Amber Dance
    Published online 4 September 2008 | Nature


    Mixing up normal and infectious prions in test tubes
    can generate entirely new forms of infectious prion.


    Infectious prion proteins from hamsters can change normal proteins from mice into new, infectious forms of prion - simply by mixing the proteins together in a test tube.

    Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston suggest their discovery could be turned into a useful test for whether a given prion strain is transmissible from one species to another. Prion proteins are responsible for Creutzfeld-Jakob disease and "mad cow" disease.

    But they also found that when a prion jumps species, it produces a new kind of prion. "This is very worrisome," says Claudio Soto, who led the research, published in Cell1. "The universe of possible prions could be much larger than we thought."

    Normal prion protein, or PrP, is found throughout the body but is concentrated in the brain. Its exact role is not known, although it has been linked to cell signalling2, metal-ion transport3, and blood-cell manufacture4. The protein can adopt malformed shapes that cause disease. Those proteins, which are resistant to degradation, bind and convert normal protein to their troublesome conformation. Over time, the diseased protein builds up and forms fibrils in the brain, causing neurodegeneration and ultimately death.

    Generally, prions are limited to a specific host and a few related species. But prions sometimes cross the species barrier to infect new hosts. Notably, prions from cows have hopped to humans, causing disease in 208 people, mostly in the UK. Now, scientists wonder if the prion-induced chronic wasting disease (CWD), which afflicts elk and deer in the US, could jump to humans. Since prion diseases have long dormant periods, the fact that there are no human cases of CWD doesn't necessarily indicate that people won't develop symptoms in the future.

    Jump the barrier

    "At this point, we cannot predict the species barrier just by looking at the sequence" of the prion protein, Soto says. But his laboratory has developed a test-tube method, analogous to the polymerase chain reaction for DNA, to amplify prions5. Their protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) protocol starts with a minute amount of prion protein and an excess of normal PrP from healthy brain extract. Over repeated cycles of incubation (allowing the proteins to interact) and sonication (to break those interactions and allow the malformed prions to access other normal protein), the process makes more and more infectious protein.

    In the current study, Soto and his colleagues show that the technique allows hamster prions to convert mouse proteins, and vice versa. Although prion infections can pass between hamsters and mice in vivo, the process takes years and only some animals develop disease. "Here, we crossed the barrier between hamsters and mice in a couple of weeks in vitro," Soto says. "In our technology, it's actually more efficient than real life."

    "It is exciting and interesting that a well-characterized, naturally occurring species barrier to prion infection can be breached without mutation of the PrP sequence," says biochemist Surachai Supattapone, who researches prions at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire, and was not involved in the study. "It is also interesting that the newly produced prions display novel strain properties, because this observation is consistent with the idea that naturally occurring prion strains might arise as a result of cross-species transmission."

    Whereas PrP has one healthy conformation, there are multiple possible shapes that cause health problems. In the study, the new prions caused disease within different time frames, affected different areas of the brain, and showed different resistance to protein-digesting enzymes compared with the original strains. This suggests that new kinds of prion, with potentially differing characteristics, can be born every time a misfolded prion protein lands in a new species.

    Soto and his group are now turning their attention to other species-to-species transitions. They are particularly interested in which prions can infect humans, an experiment that can only be done in a test tube. "Can we convert human normal prion protein with, for example, deer protein?" Soto asks. That would indicate CWD has potential to infect people. Soto expects to release data on the deer-to-human transmission possibilities "soon".

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  4. #4
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    May 2009

    Default Department of Conservation calls on Adair County hunters to help attack chronic wasting disease

    Department of Conservation calls on Adair County hunters to help attack chronic wasting disease

    The Northeast Regional Office of the Missouri Department of Conservation is trying stop the spread of a deadly deer disease with the help of Adair County hunters.

    Danielle Brown
    Kirksville Daily Express
    Posted Jan. 5, 2015 at 10:52 AM


    Infectious diseases such as chronic wasting disease (CWD) hurt hunting and wildlife watching for Missouri's more than 520,000 deer hunters and more than two million wildlife watchers. A confirmed case in Adair County has resulted in the Missouri Department of Conservation calling on hunters to help determine how widespread the disease is amongst the local deer population.


    Kirksville, Mo. -- The Northeast Regional Office of the Missouri Department of Conservation is trying stop the spread of a deadly deer disease with the help of Adair County hunters.

    The Northeast Regional Office of the Missouri Department of Conservation is making an effort to inform Adair County citizens and hunters about chronic wasting disease, a fatal disease affecting Missouri deer, after a positive case was recently reported in Adair County.

    Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is a neurological disorder that deer and members of the deer family can get that causes them to waste away by taking away a deer’s ability to eat and think, causing them to become emaciated and eventually “waste away,” according to MDC Forestry Regional Supervisor Danny Hartwig.

    The neurological disorder is caused by prions, a type of protein, which blocks parts of the brain.

    These prions have been found in the soil where infected deer have been found, which has given the department indication to believe that deer can get the disease by being in the same area of other infected deer. Deer can also get the disease by passing it through bodily fluids.

    The disease is also 100-percent fatal.

    “Once they get it, they will die,” Hartwig said.

    The first cases of CWD was detected in 2010 and 2011 in captive deer at a private game hunting preserve near the Lynn and Macon county line, with the first positive case in free ranging herd in 2011.

    The newest positive case has been found in Adair County and is the 11th deer in the free ranging herd. Hartwig said this new case, which is several miles away from the Lynn and Macon county line, is being considered as a “spark” out from the that central area.

    “Everything prior to this had been limited to a very small area right along the Lynn and Macon county line,” Hartwig said.

    The Department of Conservation has taken steps to control and prevent the spread of CWD long before the first cases were detected in that central area. Since 2001, the department has been sampling free ranging deer throughout the state in an effort to find any positive cases of CWD, Hartwig said.

    Once positive cases were noted in captive deer near Lynn and Macon counties, the department immediately started taking samples there and relaxing regulations for landowners by allowing them to take additional deer. The department also began a targeted culling operation, taking infected deer out of a herd, in an effort to get the deer population as low as possible to prevent any more spread of the disease.

    “The less the deer are interacting the less that it can be spread,” Hartwig said.

    Page 2 of 2 - However in Adair County, Hartwig said the department’s goal is not to decrease the deer population but just to take samples of deer to see if the disease has significantly spread. If a significant spread of the disease is detected that would mean it has been established within the Adair County area.

    “We’re not trying to wipe out the population, we’re just trying to get a sample that with relative high confidence we can detect a fairly low prevalence,” Hartwig said.

    In order to collect samples, an MDC employee will make an incision below jaw line of a deer, extract lymph its nodes and then send them off to a lab where the lymph nodes will be tested with a reagent that can detect the harmful prions. The department’s plan is to sample 25 square miles in the county and hopefully collect 100 samples or deer, which is about four deer per square mile.

    If hunters harvest a deer in the Adair County area, the MDC is encouraging them to contact the regional office to set up a time when someone can take a sample out. Hartwig noted that the sampling does not ruin the food or taxidermy value to the deer meat and there has been no indication that disease is harmful to humans.

    The department is hoping to collect samples until about mid-January. After that, they will wait for results and hope for the best. Hartwig said there’s currently no plan in place if results indicate a significant spread of the disease and the department will evaluate the disease based on the results of the samples.

    “It’s unfortunate that we had this movement, and now it’s just important that we begin managing it through sampling it,” Hartwig said. “It’s just important that we go in and sample to try to figure out what we’ve got.”

    If anyone has any questions about chronic wasting disease, they are encouraged to call the Missouri Department of Conservation’s northeast regional office at (660) 785-2424 or by visiting knowcwd.com.

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  5. #5
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    May 2009

    Default Chronic wasting case hints at new normal for wildlife

    Chronic wasting case hints at new normal for wildlife

    Missouri lawmakers balked at Conservation proposal last year

    Adam Aton / For the News Tribune
    Thursday, March 12, 2015


    Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is an always fatal disease that eats away the brain of a deer.


    The Missouri Department of Conservation doesn’t know how a buck in Cole County contracted chronic wasting disease, and the department will not change any regulations until it learns more.

    In the meantime, some state officials have resigned themselves to the fact chronic wasting disease has become a permanent part of the state’s landscape.

    “We need to learn, now, how to step back and live with it,” said Sen. Brian Munzlinger, the Republican whip from Williamstown who has sponsored legislation to make it easier for deer farms to produce venison for wholesale consumption.

    Chronic wasting disease is similar to mad cow disease: The highly infectious disease is always fatal to animals in the deer family; there is no vaccine or cure; symptoms can remain dormant for years; the disease can remain in soil and on other surfaces for an indefinite length of time; and there is no way to screen living animals since the test involves sampling brain or lymphatic tissue. All of that makes the disease nearly impossible to stop, which could endanger Missouri’s $1 billion deer hunting sector.

    A hunter killed the infected buck near Centertown, about a mile from the Moniteau County line — and more than 40 miles south from the state’s chronic wasting disease containment zone, where the other 34 known cases have been found. There are captive deer farms in both Cole and Moniteau counties, but it’s too soon to know if the disease germinated there, according to Jason Sumners, a deer biologist with the Conservation Department.

    Sumners said the department will step up deer testing in Cole County over the next few weeks before planning “targeted management.” With the disease more prevalent in bucks, he suggested the department might remove antler point restrictions during this fall’s hunting season. The department might also look at banning salt licks, which could possibly serve as a vehicle for the disease, as well as restricting carcass movement.

    Sumners said no new regulations are in the works for captive deer farms. Besides Cole and Moniteau counties, there are deer farms in Boone, Callaway, Miller and Osage counties.

    The first reported case of chronic wasting in Missouri came from a private hunting reserve in Linn County in 2010. Thirty-five cases of the disease have been confirmed since then: 11 in captive deer and 24 in free-range deer. Fourteen of those cases came during the most recent hunting season.

    The Department of Conservation floated rules last year that would have required double fencing around captive deer. But state lawmakers balked at the cost to deer ranchers, so the department withdrew the proposition. The department did ban importing deer from other states.

    Imposing new regulations on captive deer farms would be unfair, said Rep. Bryan Spencer, R-Wentzville, as the elk imported from Kentucky as part of the Conservation Department’s elk restoration project are susceptible to the disease, too.

    “Is the Conservation Department bringing it in? I don’t know,” Spencer said. “Is it the deer people bringing it in? I don’t know. Is it something that’s natural, maybe a bird ate something and pooped on an acorn and a deer ate the acorn? I don’t know. I don’t want to base my decision on speculation, I want to make my decisions based on facts. And right now, there are too many facts absent.”

    It’s unclear how the disease has spread across the state, Sumners said, and the true extent of its distribution is murky. The department collected more than 3,400 tissue samples from deer killed last season, and 330 samples are still being tested for the disease.

    “It’s a problem, but it’s not the end of the world,” Sumners said. “I would caution people against hitting the panic button.”

    The disease has spread quickly in other states, said Michael Samuel, a specialist in wildlife disease at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For instance, cases of chronic wasting were discovered in 2002 west of Madison, Wisconsin. State and federal agencies did little to contain the disease, he said, and now about four in 10 bucks in that area are infected.

    “It’s completely out of control” in Wisconsin, Samuel said.

    Chronic wasting disease is a prion — an abnormal protein that attacks the nervous system. No evidence suggests it can harm humans, but there isn’t enough evidence to rule out the possibility, Samuel said. “That’s a huge question we’d all like the answer to.”

    The Department of Conservation warns against handling or eating infected animals.

    Samuel said the United States Department of Agriculture has “dropped the ball” on publishing data about chronic wasting disease and on coordinating a multi-state response to it.

    Researchers in New York have made modest progress on a mucosal vaccine administered to deers’ mouths, Samuel said, but there isn’t much to be done at the moment. “We don’t have great tools,” he said.



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  6. #6
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    May 2009

    Default Chronic Wasting Disease Continues to Spread in Missouri

    Chronic Wasting Disease Continues to Spread in Missouri

    Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 12:00 am


    Missouri’s designation as a Chronic Wasting Disease state seems to be solidified. The fatal disease continues to show up in the CWD containment zone and has now spread into a new area of the state. Missouri has long been recognized as a premier white-tailed deer hunting destination. Now we must wonder what the future holds.

    This past week, the Missouri Department of Conservation issued a press release announcing 11 new cases of CWD. Of these new cases, 10 were found in the north-central, six-county CWD zone — Adair, Chariton, Linn, Macon, Randolph, and Sullivan. The worst news was that one case was found far outside the CWD zone in Cole County near Centertown.

    MDC has discovered 14 new cases of CWD in free-ranging deer this year, bringing the total free-range count to 24. The always fatal disease was first discovered in a captive deer facility near Macon in 2010. Including 11 captive deer that have tested positive for CWD, 35 cases have now been discovered in Missouri.

    According to the MDC press release, the Department has collected more than 3,400 tissue samples for CWD testing from harvested and other free-ranging deer this season. Results for about 330 tissue samples are still in the process of being tested by an independent, outside laboratory.

    “We will provide an update of final results once all testing has been completed for the season,” said MDC Deer Biologist Jason Sumners. “We will continue to monitor the spread of the disease through more CWD testing this coming fall and winter. We are also updating our efforts to help contain the spread of the disease and will be working out the details over this spring and summer.”

    The debate on how CWD first arrived in Missouri has been and continues to be a hot topic of discussion. Many believe, myself included, that the transportation of captive deer around the country has led to the rapid spread of the disease into new areas. Thankfully, Missouri has now closed its borders to any further importation of captive deer, which could be carrying the disease. Others, mostly those associated with the captive industry, argue transporting deer is not an issue.

    So now the CWD-positive Cole County buck will become the catalyst of discussion and argument. How did the disease show up near Centertown? We don’t know ... and likely never will. What happens now is weighing on the minds of many deer hunters south of the Missouri River.

    Sumners has said certain restrictions may begin in Cole County, such as banning salt and mineral licks. As a property owner in Chariton County, where such a restriction already exists, I can personally tell you this is disheartening. As a landowner, you want to be able to put out minerals to improve the health of the local herd as well as set up prime trail camera photo locations. With such a restriction, neither is possible.

    In states like Colorado, Wyoming and Wisconsin, CWD has swept the landscape. According to Michael Samuel, a specialist in wildlife disease at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, it is estimated that two out of five bucks in Wisconsin have CWD. If this is where Missouri is headed, then enjoy the near future, because right now may be the end of the good old days.

    — Brandon Butler is the executive director of the Missouri Conservation Federation

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  7. #7
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    May 2009

    Default Senate committee endorses task force on disease threatening Missouri deer

    Senate committee endorses task force on disease threatening Missouri deer

    by Kyle Loethen
    March 18, 2015


    A Senate committee has approved legislation that would set up a task force to look for ways to revitalize Missouri deer hunting areas affected by chronic wasting disease.

    Senator Brian Munzlinger presented the bill and said he has met with the Department of Conservation, but there is disagreement about what should happen.

    “This is a little different take to allow outside groups to actually study the issue,” said Munzlinger.

    Munzlinger claims the Department of Conservation has thinned out the herd in some areas and it has caused land prices to go down. Munzlinger said CWD is growing in certain areas.

    “It appears that deer probably are going to be a long time before they come back in because we’ve had more CWD positive test come up this year again,” said Munzlinger. “We need to look at some of these areas that have been hit hard with this disease and then actually had the herd depopulated to an extent that it has caused land value decreases.”

    The 14 member task force would consist of lawmakers, landowners, and wildlife group members. One member from Quail Forever, Pheasants Forever, Whitetails Unlimited, and the Conservation Federation of Missouri would be allowed to sit on the task force.

    Conservation Federation of Missouri Director Brandon Butler spoke in support of the bill and acknowledged that CWD is a growing issue.

    “We’re open to working with the Senator and other members of the committee to explore options and hopefully be able to work with the Department of Conservation to possibly implement some of the findings we have,” said Butler.

    Butler said he is also a landowner concerned with the economy and how CWD will affect small towns. Butler said deer season is an economic boom time for many rural communities.

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  8. #8
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    May 2009

    Default Deer hunters share mixed reactions over possible changes

    Deer hunters share mixed reactions over possible changes

    by Tatiana Darie, KOMU 8 Reporter
    Posted: Mar 27, 2015 11:01 AM
    Updated: Mar 28, 2015 2:41 PM


    Mid-Missourians gathered Friday morning at the Busy Corner Cafe in Fulton to share their thoughts
    and concerns about proposed deer hunting changes.


    FULTON - Mid-Missourians gathered Friday morning at the Busy Corner Cafe in Fulton to share their thoughts and concerns about proposed deer hunting changes.

    The Missouri Department of Conservation is trying to find ways to grow the deer population in the state and it proposed regulations to shorten the deer hunting season, starting in 2016-17.

    The main firearms deer season currently runs 11 days every year, from November 14 to November 24.

    Among other changes, the department wants to shorten the firearms season from 11 days to nine days and reduce the antlerless firearms portion of the season from 12 days to three days, starting on the first Friday in December. The proposal also would add an additional day to the late youth season and move it from January to the weekend after Thanksgiving in an effort to increase participation.

    For the fall archery deer and turkey seasons, the department proposes allowing crossbows and reducing the limit on antlered deer from two to one.

    Boone, Callaway and other mid-Missouri counties have seen their deer population drop up to 35 percent during the last 10 years due to hemorrhagic disease outbreaks, drought and high doe harvests, according to the a 2013-2014 Missouri Deer Season Summary and Population Status Report.

    Conservation Department protection regional supervisor Tom Strother said the shortage is not statewide.

    "There are still some hot spots, where the population is still in good shape," said Strother, "But in general there might be some places where the population isn't as large, so reducing two days of deer season to have the deer population recover."

    Representatives spent two hours talking to hunters and debating the changes over coffee, in what it calls a new initiative to stay in touch with the community.

    Some mid-Missourians expressed their concerns over the state's Telecheck system, a portal where hunters are required to check deer and turkey electronically, either by phone or Internet. The system eliminates the requirement that hunters physically present harvested animals at an official check station before processing.

    "People aren't much accountable for checking their deer as they used to be," said local hunter Scott Robinett, "I think a lot of the numbers are wrong."

    Larry Underwood agreed the system is not accurate.

    "It's too many things going wrong about it that we don't agree with," said Underwood, who is a commander for Fulton Veterans of Foreign Wars.

    Underwood said he supports the Conservation Department in its efforts, but he does feel it's fair to reduce the hunting season.

    "I think they need to regulate the out of state hunters", he said.

    The deer industry is worth about $1 billion in Missouri, with revenue raised from hunting permits, lodging and travel.

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  9. #9
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    May 2009

    Default Prion diseases hide out in the spleen. UK population could harbour thousands of silent infections.

    Prion diseases hide out in the spleen

    UK population could harbour thousands of silent infections.

    Jo Marchant, 26 January 2012


    Prion diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (vCJD) are able to jump species much more easily than previously thought. A study published in Science today shows that in mice, prions introduced from other species can replicate in the spleen without necessarily affecting the brain1.

    The study reinforces the concern that thousands of people in the United Kingdom might be silent carriers of prion infection, potentially able to pass a lethal form of the disease to others through surgery or blood transfusions.

    Prions are infectious pathogens, primarily composed of the misfolded form of a protein called PrP. Normal PrP molecules that are converted into the misshapen type then aggregate in the brain to form hard, insoluble clumps — with fatal consequences.

    Previous studies have judged the ease of cross-species transmission by looking for clinical symptoms as well as the presence of prions in infected animals’ brains. Results from these studies suggested that in many cases there is an effective 'species barrier', with most inoculated animals seemingly free of prions at the end of their lives.

    Breaking barriers
    But prions don’t just replicate in the brain — they also affect lymphoid tissue, such as the spleen, tonsils and appendix. So Vincent Béringue, a prion researcher at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research in Jouy-en-Josas, France, and his colleagues used mice that had been genetically engineered to express either the sheep or human version of PrP to look beyond the brain.

    The researchers injected prions from elk, hamsters and cattle into the brains of the engineered mice — all species barriers that are supposedly very hard to cross — then looked for prions in the spleens and brains of the mice at regular intervals after exposure.

    As expected, few of the mice had detectable prions in their brains. When those expressing human PrP were inoculated with the BSE prion, only 3 out of 43 had detectable prions in their brains at the end of their lives. But in lymphoid tissue it was a different story, with 26 of 41 spleens testing positive for prions, even though the mice showed no clinical symptoms of BSE.

    The research shows that prions jump species into lymphoid tissue much more easily than into brain tissue, says Béringue. “If you extrapolate that to the human situation, you can imagine that there are more people infected subclinically in lymphoid tissues such as the spleen, who may never develop the disease.”

    That’s a concern because these carriers could infect others, for example by blood transfusion, organ donation or contaminated surgical instruments. Once passed human to human, the infection could in theory then affect the brain and cause lethal vCJD, says John Collinge, director of the Medical Research Council Prion Unit at University College London, who wrote an analysis to accompany the Béringue paper2. “The main adaptation — that the incoming BSE proteins have triggered the formation of human prions — has occurred,” he says.

    An epidemic of BSE among cows, dubbed 'mad cow disease', in Britain in the 1980s, led to stringent controls on meat production and the use of surgical and dental instruments. Human cases of the disease, vCJD, were first seen in the mid-1990s. That sparked fears of a devastating human epidemic, but only around 200 people have died from the disease since then, and cases have been tailing off.

    But two recent surveys of tissue samples from removed appendixes suggest that as many as 1 in 4,000 people in the United Kingdom could be carriers3, 4.

    Béringue’s findings could help to explain these results, says Collinge. “These estimates suggest there may be 15 to 20,000 people in the United Kingdom incubating the disease,” he says. “Maybe they predominantly have an infection restricted to the lymphoreticular system.”

    Collinge warns that “all efforts should be made” to assess the prevalence of prion infection in the United Kingdom by analysing surgical and autopsy tissues, and to investigate whether blood tests for vCJD can detect the infection in silent carriers. “Maybe they will never develop the disease themselves,” he says. “But it’s precisely those people who present a risk to others.”

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  10. #10
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    Aug 2015
    Kansas Shitty Missery

    Default Missouri court blocks enforcing new deer regulations

    Missouri court blocks enforcing new deer regulations

    By Associated Press
    11:48 PM, Aug 22, 2015



    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A court ruling has blocked a Missouri department from enforcing new regulations on private deer operations in the state.

    The preliminary injunction issued this month in Gasconade County court keeps the Missouri Department of Conservation from enforcing new rules aimed at curbing the potential spread of chronic wasting disease until questions about the legality of the laws can be resolved, The Kansas City Star reported ( http://bit.ly/1HWDv19 ).

    The new regulations, which include prohibiting the importation of captive deer and other similar animals into Missouri, had gone into effect earlier this year amid department efforts to deal with CWD, a fatal animal disease that some say could threaten Missouri's free-range deer herd.

    The major area of concern for CWD is in the northeast part of the state, where 11 captive deer and 10 free-range deer were initially found with CWD in 2010 and 2011. Since then, another 14 free-ranging deer have tested positive for the disease.

    The court case was filed by several Missouri deer farmers, who contend the new regulations unfairly target them.

    The court ruled there wasn't enough proof the disease posed as serious a threat as Missouri Department of Conservation wildlife biologists claim.

    "Without question, plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm, up to and including the loss of business, should the regulations remain in effect during the upcoming hunting season," the court said in a 33-page ruling. "By contrast, defendants cannot show an imminent threat to Missouri's cervid population or other public interests that would justify the regulations remaining in effect while their constitutionality is finally resolved."

    Conservation department assistant director Tim Ripperger said the department was disappointed with the injunction in regards to managing the herd in the short run, but remained hopeful for a different outcome when the matter goes to trial, though no trial date has been set.


    Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

    KSHB-TV Channel 41


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