How worried about Chronic Wasting Disease are you?
A Canadian pathologist has some news that might make you a bit more concerned than you have been.
As reported in the Star Tribune, a leading pathologist in Canada shared her findings with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at a Prion Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland in May of 2017.
Dr. Stefanie Czub found that by feeding macaques monkeys over years with diseased venison meat, Chronic Wasting Disease can indeed be spread. These monkeys have genetics so close to humans that we all might want to take note.
Below is how CWD is spread by infected grass mites.
While the CDC strongly recommends testing of elk in deer meat in CWD positive areas Dr. Czub takes it to an alarming level. She says to test your harvest anywhere taken before you consume it. Dr. Czub has this to say: "This is a disease with a long, extended incubation period, it's not your average food poisoning.'"
In the state of Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources is urging hunters to send lymph nodes locating in the deer's neck for testing. Below is a video that shows you how it's done.
The University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Lab fee is $45 and the Colorado State University's Veterinary Diagnostic Lab is even cheaper at $17.
So where does that leave us at deer hunters? If you are hunting CWD infected areas it is a good idea to test your deer or elk harvest before you eat it. Better safe than sorry. As for the rest of us deer hunters is it worth the cost and extra stress to test our venison? That decision is up to every one of us.
Do you like articles about the outdoors? Click here to view more articles by Eric Nestor. You can follow him @ericthewoodsman on Twitter, The Classic Woodsman on Facebook, and @theclassicwoodsman on Instagram. You can view more Nestor Photography photos at Nestor Photography.