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From: TSS (
Date: November 15, 2004 at 7:00 am PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: SLOW ASSISTED SUICIDE NOW LEGAL IN USA ''As of Nov. 8, the venison-donation program in the Disease Eradication Zone had provided 800 deer for needy families''
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2004 17:19:36 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

Posted Nov. 14, 2004

Pat Durkin column: Hunters use deer from CWD zone to feed needy families

While registering three antlerless deer a week ago in Barneveld to earn
three buck tags for the CWD zone, I saw a joyful sight: two semi-trailer
freezer units cooling deer carcasses bound for food pantries to feed the

Such donations werent possible the past two years in the CWD zones
because of mass hysteria surrounding chronic wasting disease. Unless
hunters took their deer home, the carcasses were burned, buried or fed
into tissue digesters.

Therefore, when reflecting on the past 33 months, I now realize
Wisconsin erred by not wildly panicking Feb. 28, 2002, the instant CWDs
presence was confirmed. Instead, we panicked gradually over the ensuing
months until our hysteria peaked around Labor Day 2002. If we had simply
staged a riotous statewide panic at the outset, we would have calmed
enough later to make more logical decisions for handling CWD as
individuals and a state.

If only we had sought counsel from Patrick McManus, the Outdoor Life
humorist who wrote a story called The Modified Stationary Panic.
Granted, McManus was discussing what to do when lost in the woods, but
his survival advice is sound. He wrote, My own theory holds that it is
best ... to get the panic out of the system as quickly as possible.

McManus said panickers use the Modified Stationary Panic, not the Full
Bore Linear Panic, in which lost souls run flat out in a straight line
until the course of your panic is deflected by a large rock or tree,
after which you get up and sprint off in a new direction. Instead,
McManus advises panickers to stay in one place, bounce up and down and
vary the steps so that it appears to be a sort of folk dance. ... I
highly recommend throwing in a couple of Russian squat kicks. ... (Once
youve) performed the perfunctory modified panic, you should get started
right away on the business of surviving.

Its November, were nearing the traditional nine-day gun season, and if
the states food-pantry programs are valid indicators, were back to the
business of surviving. Weve realized its foolish, some would say
sinful, to wantonly destroy tons of venison because of the unproven,
infinitesimal risk of being the first human to contract a prion disease
from eating deer meat.

As of Nov. 8, the venison-donation program in the Disease Eradication
Zone had provided 800 deer for needy families. The deer are sent to
processors who bone out the meat, which removes contamination risks from
spinal fluid, lymph nodes and brain matter. The processors grind and
package the venison in 1- and 2-pound tubes, and store it until the
state laboratory finds no evidence of CWD in the deer. The meat then
goes to food pantries, who cant get enough of it.

Tom Howard, the Dodgeville area wildlife-management supervisor, said the
system is already strained because of its popularity. He expects work
backlogs once the regular season opens Nov. 20.

Hunters never liked to shoot a deer just to dispose of it, Howard
said. They want to help reduce the herd, but most of them dont need
more than one or two deer themselves. Now they can share their deer with
other people who appreciate the meat.

The CWD-zone program operates independently of larger venison-donation
programs, including Hunters For the Hungry in Green Bay. Lee Dudek
reports donations have already reached 1,500 at that organization, and
expects to surpass the record of 1,600, set last year, before the
regular gun season opens. Dudek estimated 70 percent of needy families
visiting pantries request venison. He credits this years success to
widespread earn-a-buck requirements, as well as decreased fears about CWD.

Laurie Fike coordinates the statewide venison-donation program for the
DNR. She said the state is on a record pace with 3,910 deer donated as
of Nov. 9. The record is 6,771 donations in 2003, but donations peak
during the gun season.

Just think: Two years ago many of us thought CWD had killed venison
donations. Funny how panic clouds judgment.

Patrick Durkin writes a weekly column for the Northwestern. He may be
reached at 721 Wesley St., Waupaca, WI 54981; or by e-mail at

only in America, that's one way to thin the homeless and needy out...TSS

3. Prof. A. Robertson gave a brief account of BSE. The US approach
was to accord it a _very low profile indeed_. Dr. A Thiermann showed
the picture in the ''Independent'' with cattle being incinerated and
thought this was a fanatical incident to be _avoided_ in the US _at
all costs_...



Transmission Studies

Mule deer transmissions of CWD were by intracerebral inoculation and
compared with natural cases resulted in a more rapidly
progressive clinical disease with repeated episodes of synocopy ending
in coma. One control animal became affected, it is believed through
contamination of inoculam (?saline). Further CWD transmissions were
carried out by Dick Marsh into ferret, mink and squirrel monkey.
Transmission occurred in all of these species with the shortest
incubation period in the ferret.

Aguzzi warns of CWD danger

The TSE family of diseases also includes chronic wasting disease (CWD)
in deer, a condition that has spread in the US in recent years (Nature
416, 569; 2002). Speaking at the Days of Molecular Medicine conference
in La Jolla in March, prion expert Adriano Aguzzi issued a strong
warning against underestimating this form of TSE.

"For more than a decade, the US has by-and-large considered mad cows
to be an exquisitely European problem. The perceived need to protect
US citizens from this alien threat has even prompted the deferral of
blood donors from Europe," he said. "Yet the threat-from-within
posed by CWD needs careful consideration, since the evidence that CWD
is less dangerous to humans than BSE is less-than-complete. Aguzzi
went on to point out that CWD is arguably the most mysterious of all
prion diseases.

"Its horizontal spread among the wild population is exceedingly
efficient, and appears to have reached a prevalence unprecedented even
by BSE in the UK at its peak. The pathogenesis of CWD, therefore,
deserves a vigorous research effort. Europeans also need to think
about this problem, and it would be timely and appropriate to increase
CWD surveillance in Europe too." Aguzzi has secured funding from the
National Institutes of Health to investigate CWD, and the effort will
be lead by Christina Sigurdson in his department at the University of

This quote from Dr. Gambetti is especially significant since he is the
rather cautious TSE researcher under contract with the Centers for Disease
Control to examine the brains of individuals who have died of CJD.

Pierluigi Gambetti, director of the National Prion Disease Pathology
Surveillance Center at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland,
said all deer should be tested for chronic wasting disease before any
processing is done.

"There is no way around it," he said. "Nobody should touch that meat
unless it has been tested."

Chronic Wasting Disease and Potential Transmission to Humans

Ermias D. Belay,*Comments
Ryan A.
Maddox,* Elizabeth S. Williams, Michael W. Miller,! Pierluigi
Gambetti,§ and Lawrence B. Schonberger*
*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA;
University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA; !Colorado Division of
Wildlife, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA; and §Case Western Reserve
University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Suggested citation for this article: Belay ED, Maddox RA, Williams
ES, Miller MW, Gambetti P, Schonberger LB. Chronic wasting disease
and potential transmission to humans. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on
the Internet]. 2004 Jun [date cited]. Available from:



The lack of evidence of a link between CWD transmission and unusual
cases of CJD, despite several epidemiologic investigations, and the
absence of an increase in CJD incidence in Colorado and Wyoming suggest
that the risk, if any, of transmission of CWD to humans is low. Although
the in vitro studies indicating inefficient conversion of human prion
protein by CWD-associated prions raise the possibility of low-level
transmission of CWD to humans, no human cases of prion disease with
strong evidence of a link with CWD have been identified. However, the
transmission of BSE to humans and the resulting vCJD indicate that,
provided sufficient exposure, the species barrier may not completely
protect humans from animal prion diseases. Because CWD has occurred in a
limited geographic area for decades, an adequate number of people may
not have been exposed to the CWD agent to result in a clinically
recognizable human disease. The level and frequency of human exposure to
the CWD agent may increase with the spread of CWD in the United States.
Because the number of studies seeking evidence for CWD transmission to
humans is limited, more epidemiologic and laboratory studies should be
conducted to monitor the possibility of such transmissions. Studies
involving transgenic mice expressing human and cervid prion protein are
in progress to further assess the potential for the CWD agent to cause
human disease. Epidemiologic studies have also been initiated to
identify human cases of prion disease among persons with an increased
risk for exposure to potentially CWD-infected deer or elk meat (47
). If such cases
are identified, laboratory data showing similarities of the etiologic
agent to that of the CWD agent would strengthen the conclusion for a
causal link. Surveillance for human prion diseases, particularly in
areas where CWD has been detected, remains important to effectively
monitor the possible transmission of CWD to humans. Because of the long
incubation period associated with prion diseases, convincing negative
results from epidemiologic and experimental laboratory studies would
likely require years of follow-up. In the meantime, to minimize the risk
for exposure to the CWD agent, hunters should consult with their state
wildlife agencies to identify areas where CWD occurs and continue to
follow advice provided by public health and wildlife agencies. Hunters
should avoid eating meat from deer and elk that look sick or test
positive for CWD. They should wear gloves when field-dressing carcasses,
bone-out the meat from the animal, and minimize handling of brain and
spinal cord tissues. As a precaution, hunters should avoid eating deer
and elk tissues known to harbor the CWD agent (e.g., brain, spinal cord,
eyes, spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes) from areas where CWD has been

Q. Is the disease transmissible to humans?
A. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued this
statement: "It is generally prudent to avoid consuming food derived from
any animal with evidence of a TSE. To date, there is no evidence that
CWD has been transmitted or can be transmitted to humans under natural
conditions. However, there is not yet strong evidence that such
transmissions could not occur. To further assess the possibility that
the CWD agent might occasionally cause disease in humans, additional
epidemiologic and laboratory
studies could be helpful. Such studies include molecular
characterization and strain typing of the agents causing CWD in deer and
elk and CJD in potentially exposed patients. Ongoing national
surveillance for CJD and other neurological cases will remain important
for continuing to assess the risk, if any, of CWD transmission to humans."


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