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Video: CWD Public Meeting Jackson
2/26/2018 2:44:07 PM
From MDWFP

The meeting begins at 13:00.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosted a public meeting to discuss Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) at MDWFP's Mississippi Museum of Natural Science on February 22, 2018. In addition to providing more information about the disease, MDWFP biologists, MDWFP law enforcement personnel, and other professionals discussed Mississippi’s CWD Response Plan and answered questions.

Questions and Answers: 

Question:

If I see a deer showing symptoms of CWD and it is not deer season what should I do? (Private Land)

Answer: Contact MDWFP at 1800BESMART to report the deer and MDWFP will respond.

Capt. Chris Reed, MDWFP Public Information Officer

Question: Can hogs be a carrier for CWD?

Answer: In a lab it has been shown to be the case. Very few studies have been done. It is possible but we do not know how likely yet.

Dr. Bronson Strickland, MSU

Question: How fast does CWD spread?

Answer: CWD is not a fast-spreading disease like influenza. It is a slow developing disease and takes years to kill the animal and takes months for the animal to start spreading the disease.

A prion is a protein that is a normal part of the nervous system to help the body function. CWD is a misfolded or abnormal prion that becomes infective. Once this misfolded prion is invested by an animal susceptible that animal will start producing the bad type of prions over months of time.

Dr. Steve Demarais, MSU

Question: How long will it take to get results back from a sample that has been submitted for testing?

Answer: 2 Types of tests

  • IHC Test Takes about 2 weeks before MDWFP receives the results
  • ELISA Test Takes about 5 days before MDWFP Receives the results once the lab receives the sample
    • MDWFP will be using the Elisa Test for all CWD Sampling performed so that we will have the results faster.

William McKinley, MDWFP - Deer Program Coordinator

Question: How likely is it that this deer was a false positive?

Answer: This deer went through the best testing at the best lab and the results were definitive that this deer was CWD positive.

William McKinley, MDWFP Deer Program Coordinator

Question: Is already processed meat safe to consume if the deer was harvested within the buffer zone.

Answer: Meet from an infected deer could be contagious. The Center for Disease Control suggests having the deer tested prior to eating the meat. There is not a test that can be performed on the meat. Mississippi Department of Health’s recommendation is that people consider to not eat the meat from an animal harvested where CWD is known to be without that deer being tested.

CWD has been around for a long time and there is no case of a human contracting CWD.

Dr. Paul Buyers, Dept. of Health - State Epidemiologist

Question: Can the continuous high water floods have moved the prions into the area?

Answer: Theoretically yes, but it is highly unlikely

Dr. Jim Watson, Dept. of Agriculture – State Veterinarian

Question: How transferrable is it to cattle or sheep?

Answer: Theoretically yes, but it has not been proven in a wild setting. Tests have been performed in a laboratory setting where animals were forced to contract CWD. It is very difficult for a prion to jump specie.

Dr. Jim Watson, Dept. of Agriculture – State Veterinarian

Question: How should we terminate mineral sites?

Answer: No new mineral sites or salt blocks can be established also no additions to existing sites.

Capt. Chris Reed, MDWFP Public Information Officer

Question: How can we dispose of carcasses?

Answer: Methods

  • Deep burial 8ft or  deeper
  • Certified landfill MDWFP will provide a list before next hunting season
  • Incineration over 900 Degrees Fahrenheit for 4 hours

Dr. Jim Watson, Dept. of Agriculture – State Veterinarian and William McKinley, MDWFP Deer Program Coordinator

Question: How long do the prions last?

Answer: Last at least 15 years, we assume it is there indefinitely

Dr. Jim Watson, Dept. of Agriculture – State Veterinarian

Question: Why would you not shoot a deer that is showing the symptoms of CWD during hunting season?

Answer: MDWFP would like you to harvest that deer and immediately contact MDWFP so that we can test that deer.

William McKinley, MDWFP Deer Program Coordinator

Question: What is the plan for supplemental feeding?

Answer: Supplemental feeding is banned within all counties touching the buffer zone. Changes may be made after results from sampling.

Capt. Chris Reed, MDWFP Public Information Officer

Question: How can hunter test its deer and how much does it cost?

Answer: Currently, we are working on a plan to provide an avenue for hunters to test their deer. We will have that prior to the season opening. The cost will be taken care of if you bring that deer to a location where MDWFP can collect a proper sample for testing.

William McKinley, MDWFP Deer Program Coordinator and Capt. Chris Reed, MDWFP Public Information Officer

Question: What counties have to get hog traps permitted?

Answer: The 6 counties within the buffer zone

Russ Walsh, MDWFP Executive Director for Wildlife Bureau

Question: Is there a fear that we could lose all the deer in the country to CWD?

Answer: Even if 100% of the animals have the disease they still live long enough to reproduce. They live long enough to replace itself 3 times over.

Dr. Bronson Strickland, MSU

If you harvest at a younger age you will not have as much of a mortality from the disease as you would be harvesting a deer at an older age.

Dr. Steve Demarais, MSU

Question: Has MDWFP considered banning the importation and sale of deer attractants containing deer urine?

Answer: All options that could increase the spread of CWD will be looked at by MDWFP and a determination will be made.

Russ Walsh, MDWFP Executive Director for Wildlife Bureau

Question: If and when will you expand sampling outside of the 5-mile zone?

Answer: If we find another positive within the first sampling period, we will expand that zone and create a new 5-mile zone. Beyond that we will rely on hunters providing samples outside of that zone during hunting season.

William McKinley, MDWFP Deer Program Coordinator

Question: Will all of the deer killed during hunting season within the containment zone be required to be tested?

Answer: We are still deciding the specifics of sampling during deer season and are looking at several different options. We will let you know prior to deer season.

William McKinley, MDWFP Deer Program Coordinator

Question: Can you test the tongue to see where the deer came from?

Answer: We are working with Alabama and Louisiana to look at genetic characteristics of free-ranging deer populations. We have sent the DNA of the CWD positive deer and are waiting to see results from those tests.

Dr. Steve Demarais, MSU             

Question: Isn’t it likely that this deer came from somewhere other than Mississippi or the deer was infected by something from a different state since MS has not had CWD before?

Answer: There are indications that CWD has been carried by humans transporting CWD positive deer. We do not know where the deer came from and will not be able to tell unless we have DNA data from a deer that is from the same region.

Dr. Steve Demarais, MSU               

Question: What is the plan for bringing on more manpower to help combat CWD and the illegal dumping of carcasses?

Answer: Local jurisdictions and sheriff departments along with other state agencies will be asked to help. We are not adding any additional staff, but we fill confident in our staff and believe we have enough personnel currently to address CWD.

Capt. Chris Reed, MDWFP Public Information Officer

Question: Has any coordination been done with the wildlife department from Louisiana?

Yes, they are sampling deer on their side of the river and we will be working hand in hand with them and sharing our results and information.

Russ Walsh, MDWFP Executive Director for Wildlife Bureau

Question: Can a plant take up a prion from the soil and a deer contract CWD from eating that plant?

Answer: There have been studies conducted to show that a plant can take up a prion, but there is no data showing it has been done in the wild and a wild deer has contracted CWD. Theoretically, it can happen but is unlikely.

It takes multiple prions to actually infect an animal

Dr. Jim Watson, Dept. of Agriculture – State Veterinarian

Question: If I want to get my deer processed or mounted by a taxidermist and I hunt within the CWD management zone what do I need to do?

Answer: MDWFP will offer a place for you to have that deer tested for CWD.

Once MDWFP has determined the CWD management zone. A whole harvested deer potentially may not be allowed to be transported outside of the zone. Other states have set regulations where a whole deer carcass can only be taken to a processor or taxidermist within the CWD Management Zone. MDWFP will let hunters know prior to deer season what Mississippi’s regulations will be.

The CWD Management Zone will be specified prior to deer season.

William McKinley, MDWFP Deer Program Coordinator

Question: What should I do with my deer meat from last season from a deer I killed within the CWD management zone?

Answer: Mississippi Department of Health’s recommendation is that people consider to not eat the meat from an animal harvested where CWD is known to be without that deer being tested. Since there is not a process for testing the meat it is up to the individual whether or not to eat the meet he or she killed last season.

The risk of contracting CWD from eating the meat is low. CWD has been around a number of states for a number of years and there has not been a case where a human has contracted CWD to date. However, we cannot say there is an absolute zero risk.

Paul Buyers, Dept. Health – State Epidemiologist

Question: If no more positives are found what is MDWFP going to do?

Answer: MDWFP must be vigilant in our efforts. We will continue to sample and take hunter-harvested deer in order to stay diligent in controlling and monitoring the disease. The zones may shift but if we do not find any other positive deer we cannot just fold up shop and stop testing.

Russ Walsh, MDWFP Executive Director for Wildlife Bureau

Question: Are the variants in CWD, like in CJD, CWD been proven to be transmitted between saliva, feces and urine?

Answer: Transmission studies have been conducted and have shown to have been transmitted in such way.

Dr. Jim Watson, Dept. of Agriculture – State Veterinarian

Question: Where CWD has been discovered previously what has been the outcome of states managing it?

Answer: Wisconsin has managed it with their process. Nowhere has eliminated CWD once it was found other than New York where it was found in a very small population in a captive environment.

Dr. Steve Demarais, MSU

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