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Post #1  Post subject: 70 New Cases of CWD in Arkansas Since September
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:02 pm 
AGFC
Dec. 6, 2017

Seventy new cases of chronic wasting disease have been found in Arkansas since deer season opened in September, according to samples collected by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologists, taxidermists and veterinarians. Although the number of positive cases is high, no samples from new areas of the state have been found so far. The disease has been found in Boone, Carroll, Madison, Marion, Newton, Pope and Searcy counties since September.

Cory Gray, manager of the AGFC’s Research, Education and Compliance Division, says overall the results have been as good as can be expected.

“We have taken more than 2,400 samples so far this season, and we have several batches of samples still at the laboratory,” Gray said. “But most of the positive cases are reinforcing where we believe the disease is most prevalent. Once we have completed this year’s sampling, we hopefully will have a clearer picture of disease distribution.”

Gray says hunters who turn in samples that come back positive for CWD are being notified as soon as possible, and any hunter can check www.arkansascwd.com to look up their sample’s status to have some added piece of mind. Biologists will work with hunters to collect and dispose of any meat from CWD-positive animals and reinstate their game tag if possible.

“If a positive sample is returned from a county which doesn’t currently have CWD, we will follow our standard protocol and confirm that sample through an additional test,” Gray said. “If that test also comes back positive, we will issue a release to make sure hunters in that area are informed.”

Gray says the AGFC’s partnership with taxidermists around the state continues to be invaluable to both the hunters and the agency.

“Last year we worked with taxidermists to gather samples from deer turned in to be mounted, but this year we’ve really tried to advertise to people that any deer can be taken to one of our participating taxidermists to have a CWD sample pulled for free,” Gray said. “We don’t have the manpower to pull samples all over the state throughout the entire deer season, so this partnership really helps give hunters peace of mind about their deer and helps us continue to monitor for the disease outside the focal area, where we know we have it.”

Any hunter who harvests a deer still can have the animal tested by taking the head with about 6 inches of neck attached to one of the participating taxidermists listed on www.arkansascwd.com.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects members of the deer/elk family. It was first described in 1967 in Colorado and since has spread to 23 additional states, Canada, South Korea, and Norway. It was discovered in Arkansas in February 2016, and has since been found in 288 deer or elk in Arkansas after thousands of deer have been tested from across the state.

It is similar to “mad cow disease” in cattle. These diseases are caused by misshapen proteins called prions, which accumulate in the tissues of affected animals, especially the brain, spinal cord, and lymph nodes. Infected animals will not show signs of disease at first, but late in the disease process, they will be thin and may demonstrate weakness, abnormal behavior, excessive thirst or drooling.

There has been no confirmed case of CWD affecting humans or livestock, but with an abundance of caution, the Centers for Disease Control recommends hunters test their harvested game and warns that people should not consume any deer or elk known to have CWD.

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Post #2  Post subject: Re: 70 New Cases of CWD in Arkansas Since September
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:49 am 
I sure would like to see a map of where these samples were taken. At least from here it seems that they are not looking to much outside the CWD zone. I have to wonder why. The number of samples seems awfully small to me. I don't think that there is much emphasis on detection in other areas. I wonder why they bother at all if this is all they are doing. I am certain before much more time goes by we will see a spin article telling how great a success this years effort was. :poundfloor:


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Post #3  Post subject: Re: 70 New Cases of CWD in Arkansas Since September
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:39 am 
WW wrote:
AGFC
Dec. 6, 2017
There has been no confirmed case of CWD affecting humans or livestock, but with an abundance of caution, the Centers for Disease Control recommends hunters test their harvested game and warns that people should not consume any deer or elk known to have CWD.
I'm glad G&F is finally followin' the Centers for Disease Controls new recommendations and recommending that Arkansas hunters have their deer tested before consumin' it. Just wish there was a way they could mandate it instead of just recommendin' it.

I'm old and single so having my deer tested isn't as important as it should be to those who expose their families and kids and friends to untested meat especially from a known CWD area. I know most hunters don't worry about themselves or their families developin' CWD since no human cases have been "reported" so far, but the Centers for Disease Control is now sayin' it's not impossible, with some scientists now sayin' it's not a matter of if anymore but when. So I personally don't understand why hunters take such a risk with their families when testing is now free.

But even with free tests only 2500 deer have been tested this season when G&F needs thousands more tests each year just to keep up with where and how prevalent CWD is in our state. But apparently it's gonna take CWD eatin' the brains out of a few hunters and their families before the rest of us start havin' our deer tested and start demanding and helpin' G&F slow the spread of this deadly disease until hopefully somebody comes up with a valid way to control it or even develops a human vaccine against prion diseases. Ongoing studies show CWD prions are slowly adapting and gettin' tougher and more aggressive with each passing year and I have a feeling if hunters and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission don't start takin' CWD and it's spread and consumption more serious I'm afraid we or our our kids or grand kids could live to regret our obvious apathy towards it today.... :th_smilie_help.gif:

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Post #4  Post subject: Re: 70 New Cases of CWD in Arkansas Since September
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:15 pm 
Maybe I have the wrong outlook on CWD but here is how I look at it. First I do not worry about it. As long as I do not eat a sick appearing deer I will remain blissfully ignorant. Second there is no known transmission to humans however we do know that the BSE variant that rarely does transmit to humans occurs, that BSE has occurred in the USA and yet how many millions of pounds of beef are consumed in this country each year. So far as I know USDA is not testing cattle on a widespread basis. I figure if the USDA is not concerned about a proven human health threat why should I worry about something that so far as is known has never happened yet. :twocents:


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Post #5  Post subject: Re: 70 New Cases of CWD in Arkansas Since September
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:29 pm 
I worry more about the deer management danger to the deer herd than the CWD danger. Anyone looked at the harvest numbers for Piney Creek WMA. It is going to be hard hunting in the near future. Over 40% harvest increase. I just hope they don't move use the same management practices for Yell County. It won't be long till 3/4 of those hunter will be moving South to do their hunting due to lack of any deer.


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Post #6  Post subject: Re: 70 New Cases of CWD in Arkansas Since September
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:02 pm 
I usually hunt Piney a lot. This year not as much for a variety of reasons but I intend to be back a lot next year. I understand the thinking behind the herd reduction but really question if it is necessary so long as no effort is really being made to reduce and contain the elk. I have not seen any difference in the number of deer I have been seeing there but from experience it will bite you fast in the mountains. I think the whole CWD thing is directionless. Seems there is no plan and no end and no indication of what is next.


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Post #7  Post subject: Re: 70 New Cases of CWD in Arkansas Since September
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:10 pm 
I don't worry about being struck by lightning either which is infinitely more likely to happen then human CWD.


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