Bohunr, It would appear the testing will not be done until the deer season is over, that would preclude another tag being given to the hunters who killed a positive deer if they wanted one. The majority of the testing is yes to be done. This is what is called a conundrum, The CDC says there is no evidence CWD is transmissible to humans on one hand, and on the other, they advise against eating meat from a positive deer.
they say not to eat the meat of a positive CWD animal because they do not know if or when it will be transmittable. its a liability issue. they say "ok to eat" you get CWD they get sued.
no one really know when it will jump the barrier, but it will. the Government should make this a top priority as a risk to national security. CWD makes that jump, the entire food chain will become deadly to humans.
I am afraid you are right, it is not if but when it jumps species. Up until 2007 they were sure that Reindeer could not get CWD. They were wrong, Norway has either done it or is in the process of killing an entire herd of 2000 Reindeer. I am curious to see if these places like Hershey Park that have Reindeer shipped in from out of state for a Santa's village will continue to be allowed to do so.
I hate to see CWD in any part of PA, but the ones I really hate to see are the ones in Clearfield and Jefferson Counties. That is getting awful close to the elk range. I know there are those who will say "let all the elk die." But I am not one of them. I love to see the elk and believe that they are one of our greatest resources that we have. It would be a shame to lose the elk hunt. Again, there are those who will scoff at that statement, but it is obvious to me that anyone who speaks that way about the elk hunt has just not participated in it and do not know what they are talking about.
I am afraid that it is just a matter of time until it recaches the elk as well as the deer.
I am glad I am not just starting out as a young deer hunter. I am not sure that the hunters in this state are taking CWD as seriously as we should be. As for what could be done to slow the progression, I don't have a clue, but shutting down and depopulating every deer and elk farm in the state would be a start. Other states have already done so.
It sounds like they are going to find over a 100 new cases in DMA2 when all the testing is done. I think we can expect a lot of sharpshooters in my neighborhood in the near future. I hope they publish a detailed map with gps co-ordinates so residents here can see how close they are to the hotspots.
I was afraid this was going to happen and have been doing some internet searching to learn all I can. I have put a few of my thoughts and findings on a thread on genetics on this forum. Based on what I have found,
I will probably say "no" if they want to sharpshoot on my land. Sharpshooting will never eliminate the disease. It will only set up a cycle of continuous shooting in an ever widening area until we give up like they have in other states.. We need to spend a lot more money and effort on a better solution that is a more natural approach that will protect he deer over the whole state.
You know the problem with the solution you are pushing is that allowing the deer to continue spreading the prions until they "might" evolve into being resistant and might is the operative word, is more risky than shooting the deer and getting rid of the live vectors. If, and if is the key word, deer ever become resistant to CWD, no one on this sight or their offspring, and their offspring's offspring will be around to see it. What you are advocating is fiddling while Rome burns. To do that is totally irresponsible given that there is no credible evidence deer will ever become resistant to the disease.
Sadly it's here to stay. They can test the harvested deer but I bet for every one that tests positive there are 3 out there still wandering around. Raise Black Angus. Elk and deer farms, preserves are big bucks. Maybe they should be required to contribute to research.
The following are quotes from the article you posted regarding elk in Montana. 39 elk were put in a pen and only one, named Lucky, survived. The others all died of CWD, Lucky was the only one that had the genotype LL. The article hints that Lucky is still being studied and I would bet she is being bred to other elk with the LL genome. What they did in Wyoming is similar to what I suggested we do in Pa. Instead of shooting all the deer in a hotspot we should trap or dart them and put them in a pens and see if we get any survivors. Then release or them or their offspring to build up a resistant strain of deer. Collars would mark the good deer and hunters would be instructed to not shoot them. If that is too difficult, we could just take over an infected farm and do the same thing.
I have seen some reports out of Penn State that they have noticed some areas in Pa seem to have a lot more CWD than others and they think if might be because of genetic differences in the populations.
I agree with you that there is a lot to be learned about this approach. But there is a lot of potential in using genetics to control the disease and this possiblitly should not be ignored.
If 38 elk out of 39 at Sybille became stricken and died, how might that rate of infection be extrapolated to wild settings? The elk calves removed from the Elk Refuge and raised at Sybille have a genetic make-up—an MM genotype— that is widespread and the most common in western Wyoming elk herds. Lucky had different genotype—LL—that exists in two percent of a normal population. Some elk also carry a third genotype (ML) that, for some reason, has a resistance characteristic that delays infection but still is 100 percent lethal.Which leads us back to Lucky. In that study involving her at Sybille, the wild elk calves taken from the Elk Refuge were shown to have three different genetic makeups. Most had MM genotypes and are representative of about 70 percent of wild wapiti in the Elk Refuge herd. All of those died relatively quickly from CWD when exposed to environmental contamination.
Then there were elk with ML genotypes, representing about 28 percent of the herd. They survived longer before getting infected and succombing but they all died, too.
And then there was Lucky, a rarity with an LL genotype. Just two percent of elk have a genetic code like her.
Kreeger tried to put a positive spin on the results when he still worked for the agency. His is a belief in “evolutionary adaptation”, i.e. the premise that CWD infected mothers will produce offspring before they die and CWD-resistant elk will be giving birth to seed-stock to rebuild populations if they crash.
Lucky and some of the other elk cows produced offspring and Kreeger speculated it was possible that reproduction could outpace death caused by CWD. However, the model showed that over a century, hunting would need to be curtailed if not eliminated and that elk with genomes MM and ML would likely vanish.
To put that in perspective, what if in a human community, 3800 out of 3900 people died due to a pandemic like the Black Plague and the restoration of civilization would rest on the surviving 100?
Would that be a cause for optimism or existential gravity? For Rowledge, it’s the latter. As he and his fellow authors note, healthy wildlife populations are more resilient when they have more genetic diversity. CWD actually destroys and reduces diversity, leaving surviving gene pools potentially more vulnerable to other maladies and possibly less capable to deal with environmental factors. He says it’s an incredibly risky proposition to bet on one genotype; moreover, it completely evades the reality that CWD would mean the loss of elk and deer abundance, as we know it today, by the end of this century.