September 8, 2003
Hunters heading out of state reminded of chronic wasting disease precautions
OLYMPIA Washington residents heading out of state to hunt deer and elk in areas affected by chronic wasting disease (CWD) are reminded to have their game processed before bringing it back home.
As they did last year,
state wildlife managers are urging the precaution to reduce the risk of
introducing CWD into this state.
We look to hunters to
work with us in the effort to keep chronic wasting disease out of this
state, said Dave Ware, game manager for the Washington Department of Fish
and Wildlife (WDFW). He noted that each year tens of thousands of
Washingtonians head out of state to hunt.
Chronic wasting disease so far has not been detected in Washington, Oregon or Idaho. However, a dozen other states, including Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Utah and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, have found the disease in free-ranging or farmed whitetail deer, mule deer or elk.
considered a low-risk state for chronic wasting disease because the state is
geographically removed from areas where the disease has been detected and
because game farming was banned here a decade ago. Although scientists do
not fully understand how chronic wasting disease is transmitted, it is
believed the transport of animals for game farming may have played a role in
spreading the disease in other states.
The disease is a form of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). Other TSEs include bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, in cattle, scrapie in domestic sheep and goats and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Currently, there is no documented evidence of humans contracting a TSE disease from eating the meat of infected deer or elk.
For more information
on chronic wasting disease and WDFW's monitoring efforts check the
department's website at
http://www.wa.gov/wdfw/wlm/cwd/index.htm on the Internet.
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