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CWD brochure dd endemic
CHRONIC WASTING CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE DISEASE: THE BASICS What is Chronic Wasting Disease? CWD is a neurologic disease of deer and elk, belonging to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE’s) or prion diseases. Though it shares certain features with other TSE’s like bovine spongiform encephalopathy (“Mad Cow Disease”) or scrapie in sheep, it is a distinct EQUAL OPPORTUNITY disease apparently affecting only deer, moose Federal and State law prohibits employment and/or public accommodation (such as access to services or physical facilities) and elk. CWD occurs in wild deer and elk, discrimination on the basis of age, color, creed, disability (mental primarily in Colorado and adjacent parts of and/or physical), gender identity, national origin, pregnancy, Wyoming, Nebraska and Utah; it has also been race, religion, sex or sexual orientation. If you believe you have diagnosed in wild deer and/or elk in Illinois, been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility Kansas, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, as described above, or if you desire further information, contact South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission at 1-800-457-4416, or write to: Wisconsin and the Canadian provinces of Alberta Director, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Wallace State and Saskatchewan. CWD has also been found Office Building, 502 E. 9th, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034. on captive deer and/or elk farms in Colorado, States and Provinces where CWD has been ALTERNATIVE FORMATS Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, This information is available in alternative formats upon request Montana, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, South confirmed in captive or wild cervids. Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming and the by contacting the DNR at 515-281-5918. TTY users - Contact Relay Iowa at 800-735-2942. Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. What are the Signs of CWD in Deer and Elk? What’s Being Done to Prevent cattle by injecting CWD infected material directly CWD attacks the brains of infected deer and elk causing the animals to become emaciated, display into the brain, but the cattle did not develop signs the Spread of CWD? of disease. CWD has been a problem in farmed Wildlife Agencies in virtually every state have abnormal behavior, lose bodily functions and elk in several western states, but has not been adopted measures to help prevent the spread of die. Signs identified in captive cervids include documented to date on elk or deer farms in Iowa. CWD into their respective states. In Iowa, the excessive salivation, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, DNR has: listlessness, teeth grinding, holding the head in Is it Safe to Eat Venison from Iowa Deer? a lowered position and drooping ears. CWD is a To date, CWD has not been diagnosed in captive • Worked with the Department of Agriculture and slowly progressive disease; signs are usually not or wild deer in Iowa. There is no scientific Land Stewardship to develop a CWD response plan. seen until the animal is 18 months of age or older. evidence that CWD is transmissible through • Collected and tested over 33,000 wild deer consumption of meat from an infected animal. throughout the state (to date all tests have The prion that causes CWD accumulates only been negative). How is CWD Transmitted? in certain parts of infected animals – the brain, The mode of transmission between deer or elk • Instituted a mandatory CWD monitoring eyes, spinal cord, lymph nodes, tonsils and is not completely understood. However, it is program for deer hunting preserves. spleen. Health officials, however, advise that thought that the disease is transmitted laterally • Instituted restrictions on inter-state transport no part of any animal known to be infected with (i.e., from direct contact between animals in a of big game carcasses from CWD endemic areas. CWD should be consumed by humans or other herd). Environmental factors, heat or disaffection animals. In addition, they suggest that hunters • Worked on legislation to ban feeding of deer to does not easily kill the disease-causing prion, so take simple precautions when field dressing deer help prevent the spread of CWD (not yet passed). transmission from a contaminated environment in areas where CWD is found: • Worked with conservation organizations to may also be possible. increase the awareness about CWD. • Wear rubber gloves when field dressing How is CWD Diagnosed? carcasses. • Engaged in regional and national wildlife health Brain samples are collected from hunter- meetings to stay abreast of current science harvested or dead deer and are examined • Bone out the meat from your animal. regarding CWD. microscopically using special stains to identify • Minimize the handling of brain and the CWD prion. A research team in Colorado spinal tissues. Restrictions for Bringing Big has recently developed the first live animal • Wash hands and instruments thoroughly Game Carcasses into Iowa. test for CWD, based on the collection of tonsil after field dressing is completed. Regulations prohibit bringing whole carcasses samples for microscopic examination. This • Avoid consuming brain, spinal cord, eyes, of deer, elk, moose or caribou into Iowa from test seems to work well in deer, but not in elk. spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes of harvested CWD endemic areas in other states or provinces animals. (Normal field dressing coupled with whether they were taken from wild, free-ranging Is CWD Transmissible to Humans? boning out of a carcass will remove essentially animals or from a hunting preserve. To find out A World Health Organization panel of experts all of these parts.) if your proposed hunt is in a CWD endemic area, reviewed all available information on CWD and contact the fish and wildlife agency in the state or • Request that your animal be processed concluded that there is no scientific evidence that province where you plan to hunt. individually, without meat from other animals CWD can infect humans. CWD is similar to the If you take a deer, elk, moose or caribou in a being added to meat from your animal. human TSE disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, CWD endemic area, you may bring back into Iowa but the two diseases have not been linked the way only the boned out meat, skin (cape) and antlers. new-variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in people What Should I do if I Observe Antlers may be attached only to a clean skull plate has been linked to consumption of products from or Harvest a Deer in Iowa that from which all brain and connective tissue has cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy. I Suspect Might Have CWD? been removed. Animals taken outside of CWD Call your local DNR office, your local endemic areas may be transported in any manner Is CWD a Risk for Iowa’s Livestock? Conservation Officer, or the DNR Central Office that is otherwise legal. Hunters must check the There is no evidence that CWD can be 515-281-6156 right away. The DNR will make regulations in the state or province they hunt to transmitted under natural conditions to cattle. every effort to collect samples from the animal make sure all carcass transportation requirements Scientists have attempted to transmit CWD to and submit them for CWD testing. for those respective jurisdictions are met.
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