Page 28 - MDWFP CWD Response Plan
P. 28

Appendix H ------ CWD Fact Sheet

                                         Mississippi Department of

                                         Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
                                         Chronic Wasting Disease Facts

                   Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a contagious neurological disease affecting deer, elk and
                   moose. It causes a characteristic spongy degeneration of the brains of infected animals
                   resulting in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death.
                   CWD belongs to a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

                   What wildlife species are affected by CWD?
                   Only five species of the deer family are known to be naturally susceptible to CWD: elk, mule
                   deer, white-tailed deer, reindeer, and moose.

                   Can humans get CWD?
                   Though many observers try to compare CWD with “mad cow disease”, the diseases are
                   distinctly different. Currently, there is no evidence that CWD poses a risk for humans;
                   however, public health officials recommend that human exposure to the CWD infectious
                   agent be avoided as they continue to evaluate any potential health risk.

                   What preventive measures should hunters take?
                   Public health and wildlife officials advise hunters to take the following precautions when
                   pursuing or handling deer and elk that may have been exposed to CWD:
                       -  Do not shoot, handle or consume any animal that is acting abnormally or appears to
                          be sick.
                       -  Wear latex or rubber gloves when field dressing your deer.
                       -  Bone out the meat from your animal. Don’t saw through bone, and avoid cutting
                          through the brain or spinal cord (backbone).
                       -  Minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues.
                       -  Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing is completed.
                       -  Avoid consuming brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes of
                          harvested animals. (Normal field dressing coupled with boning out a carcass will
                          remove most, if not all, of these body parts. Cutting away all fatty tissue will remove
                          remaining lymph nodes.)
                       -  Avoid consuming the meat from any animal that tests positive for the disease.
                       -  If you have your deer commercially processed, request that your animal is processed
                          individually, without meat from other animals being added to meat from your animal.

                   Where and how did CWD originate?
                   The origin of CWD is unknown, and it may never be possible to definitively determine how
                   or when CWD arose. It was first recognized as a syndrome in captive mule deer held in

   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33