Chronic Wasting Disease is a Threat to Idaho Elk and Deer Herds
Fish and Game is engaged in a battle to keep the disease out of Idaho. It may be a delaying action instead of a victory.
The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta recommends you don’t eat infected animals.
Chronic wasting disease is a serious threat to deer and elk herd management. It has been making a slow and deadly spread across North America. There is no cure. The folded protein that is the cause can remain in soils and even in plants for long periods of time. It can be ingested by a passing deer and then begins working on the animal’s brain. Over time, it punches holes in brain matter and the animal will lose motor control before dying.
The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta recommends you don’t eat infected animals. The trouble is, years could pass before a deer or an elk would exhibit issues. Idaho Fish and Game will test your take. In the meantime, you would process and freeze the animal before results are finished. If you get a clean slate, you can go ahead and eat the venison.
The disease is known to be wasting animals in Montana, Wyoming and Utah. You know from experience animals have no idea boundaries exist. They wander. Some suffering from CWD may already be in Idaho but haven’t yet been detected. The disease is similar to Bovine Encephalitis. Because it’s not a virus and not bacteria, there’s no vaccine.
Jon Prokott and Terry Thompson from Fish and Game joined us on Magic Valley This Morning on Newsradio 1310, KLIX. They broke down the threat and the efforts being made to slow the disease in Idaho. You can listen to the discussion by clicking on the YouTube video below.