- (Gary Nelson is the President and acting director of
the NADeFA (North America Deer Farmer's Association) and personally interviewed
the owner of the deer that was found to have CWD in NY. - Mod.TG)
- As we have all heard, CWD was found in Oneida County,
New York. CWD was confirmed on 2 different farms, the 1st farm owned by
John Palmer and the 2nd by Martin Proper.
- The 1st positive was a 6-year-old doe that was harvested
for a fireman's benefit dinner. In talking to John, he said, "I picked
out the fattest, healthiest looking doe I had."
- Most people have been led to believe that CWD-positive
deer exhibit signs of poor health, but the deer farming industry has found
this to be untrue. The vast majority of those animals that have tested
positive have shown little, if any signs of sickness.
- The herd was depopulated only days after the 1st positive
was found. On a Tuesday morning, sharpshooters came in and after 6 hours
had put down the remaining 18 deer. Samples were collected and sent in
for analysis. Friday the results were back; 3 more positives were found
for CWD. These 3 deer all came from New York State's Rehabilitation Program.
John Palmer acquired these deer from New York's wild population through
- John Palmer's herd started when he purchased a few deer
from Ohio in 1994. Later, he added other deer from a New York source.
7 years ago John started rehabilitating fawns. John said he took in 1-14
fawns per year from all over New York. John had the responsibility of determining
whether the fawn could be released back into the wild or had to stay forever
in a pen in his privately owned herd. He also relocated some of these fawns
to other producers. This is how Martin Proper came into the picture.
- Martin Proper is the owner of the 2nd positive herd.
The animal that tested positive for CWD on his farm was a 4- or 5-year-old
buck that died from pneumonia, another rehabilitated wild deer from New
York. Martin received 2 deer from John Palmer's herd; one doe that was
blind and one doe born with only 3 feet. They had bred and had produced
some offspring. The aforementioned buck killed one of these does during
last year's rut, and was not tested because it happened before their CWD
Program was up and running. The rest of Martin's herd was put down and
samples analyzed. No other positives were found.
- There were 5 positives found in these 2 herds; 4 were
deer taken from the wild [as rehabilitated fawns]. It is unclear to John
where the very first doe originated, but he felt it could have originated
from the wild as well.
- Taking deer from the wild is not condoned by the cervid
industry and is strongly discouraged; nonetheless, it did happen with the
deer in this situation.
- A statement released by the New York State Department
of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on 5 Apr 2005 announced plans to conduct
intensive monitoring of the wild deer population surrounding both farms
to determine whether CWD has spread to the wild herds.
- The NYS DEC has already directed blame towards the farmed
deer industry for bringing CWD into New York, even though there is a clear
history of the DEC taking deer out of the wild and placing them into John
Palmer's herd for rehabilitation. The question should be, "Where did
the wild deer of New York get CWD?"
- Adding to the questions, without any answers, John is
a taxidermist and has taken work from all over North America. He mentioned
receiving work from the following states and Canadian province: Saskatchewan,
Montana, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming. When looking at
where CWD has been found in the wild, many of these locations appear on
- In a study released by Beth Williams and Mike Miller,
they noted that [a deer] was just as likely to contract CWD from a live
infected deer as it was to be housed in a pen with a dead positive carcass.
- Did one or more of the many dead animals brought into
John's taxidermy studio have CWD? John stated that he kept the rehabilitation
fawns in the same garage where he did much of his taxidermy work. It was
common practice for John to sweep up his shop and deposit the salt and
chemicals along the deer fence as a weed retardant.
- The industry has always said that movement of CWD-positive
carcasses would move CWD much faster and farther than moving live animals.
Is the New York situation just that? Is there a need to regulate movement
of CWD-positive carcasses?
- There are many points that come to the forefront from
the situation in New York:
- * The detection of CWD in New York clearly shows that
the monitoring system is working. These programs are set up to identify
herds at risk.
- * This event highlights the need for surveillance. Without
the state monitoring/surveillance programs, these positive deer would not
be detected. The more herds on these programs, the lower the risk.
- * In the face of CWD, the best defense is herd monitoring/surveillance.
What better way to get participation than to recognize those who have already
participated in these programs and allow for continued movement for their
herds that have met the needed criteria? The event in New York has _in
no way_ compromised the health status of any herd that has been enrolled
in a CWD monitoring/surveillance program.
- * CWD conjures up many questions that remain unanswered.
There is a continued need for the government agencies involved and the
industry to work together to resolve some of those questions.
- * As previously seen, in discoveries of CWD, including
this New York case, all too often the producer is portrayed as a villain.
There is no one who wants this "disease" to be found on their
property. When CWD is found, the industry expects the producers to be treated
fairly and with respect. The finger-pointing and intimidation tactics are
_not_ needed to resolve the issues involved with CWD and private ownership
of deer in the United States.
- Deer farmers are fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters.
They have served this country in the armed forces. Deer farmers come from
all walks of life; doctors, lawyers, carpenters, plumbers, and housekeepers.
The one thing they all have in common is the passion they have for their
deer. Let us work together to resolve the issues that CWD brings to the
forefront across this great country of ours.
- Gary Nelson, President
- [It has been reported in other newspaper sources that
the owner of index herd in NY not only put the salt and other products
from cleaning up his taxidermy work along his fence lines -- thus exposing
his captive herd -- but also that the fawns in the taxidermy garage area
may have licked, mouthed, or chewed on entrails from some deer.
- It is stated in this NADeFA release that the owner of
the index herd was to decide whether the rehabilitated deer could return
to the wild or were not capable of survival on their own, presumably because
of serious injury, such as 3 legs, or imprinting on people. However, he
was instructed to turn some loose in the wild.
- If the fawn or fawns in question consumed -- or otherwise
contacted -- infected tissues in the taxidermy shop and then were released
to the wild, then it could be speculated that NYS DEC would likely find
exposed wild animals. If the fawn was originally wild, exposed through
taxidermy work on other wild animals, and then released back to the wild,
it would be difficult to say that captive animals brought disease to wild
animals. It would be more acceptable to say the wild animals have introduced
this disease to captive animals. - Mod.TG]
- ****** 
- Date: 27 Apr 2005
- From: ProMED-mail promed@promedmail
- Source: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
- For Release: Immediate
- Contact: Michael Fraser (518) 402-8000
- Wed 27 Apr 2005
- Chronic Wasting Disease Found in Oneida County Wild Deer;
Preliminary Positive Result Found During DEC Monitoring Efforts
- The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
(DEC) today announced it has received a preliminary positive result for
chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a wild deer sampled in Oneida County.
If confirmed, this will be the 1st known occurrence of CWD in the wild
in New York State.
- The positive sample was from a yearling white-tailed
deer tested as part of DEC's intensive monitoring effort in Oneida County.
The sample tissue was tested at the State's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
at Cornell University. The sample will be sent to the National Veterinary
Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa to be verified.
- DEC implemented intensive monitoring efforts after CWD
was found in 2 captive white-tailed deer herds in Oneida County -- the
1st incidents of CWD in New York State. On 8 Apr 2005, the State Department
of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) completed testing of the captive deer
and found a total of 5 positive results for CWD in the 2 captive herds.
- To date, DEC, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
Wildlife Services program, has sampled 213 deer from Oneida County and
25 deer from the Town of Arietta, Hamilton County. Since 2002, DEC has
conducted statewide sampling of wild deer for CWD. Counting also the sampling
efforts in Oneida and Hamilton Counties, DEC has collected more than 3700
samples from wild white-tailed deer.
- In response to the latest finding, DEC and DAM will continue
public outreach to interested parties in Oneida County to help educate
citizens on CWD and to discuss the next steps to be taken. In addition,
DEC and DAM will conduct additional outreach and continue to aggressively
pursue inspection and enforcement at all captive deer herds across the
- DAM continues to investigate, sample, and test white-tailed
deer from 2 captive herds directly associated with the 2 herds that were
confirmed positive for CWD in Oneida County. Results for these sampling
efforts will be announced when available. DAM also continues to review
its regulations regarding the movement, surveillance, and monitoring of
live cervids in New York State.
- Later this week, DEC will file emergency regulations
to ensure the proper handling of deer and prevent further spread of CWD
in the wild herd. The emergency regulations will establish a containment
area in Oneida County, where CWD has been identified and where certain
requirements will be established on movement and handling of deer. The
containment area will initially include the cities of Rome, Sherrill, Utica,
and Oneida, as well as the towns of Floyd, Marcy, Whitestown, Westmoreland,
Verona, Vernon, Kirkland, and New Hartford. Within the containment area,
DEC's emergency regulations will:
- * prohibit the movement of certain animal parts out of
the containment area;
- * establish mandatory check stations for any deer taken
by hunters in the containment area;
- * prohibit possession of any deer killed by a motor vehicle
so DEC can acquire specimens for testing; and,
- * prohibit the collection, sale, possession, or transport
of deer or elk urine taken from the containment area.
- In addition to the requirements listed for the containment
area, DEC's emergency regulations will include provisions to be followed
by individuals and facilities across the State. The emergency regulations
- * specify record-keeping and reporting requirements for
taxidermists and require measures to prevent live cervids from coming in
contact with any materials, including taxidermy materials, that may contain
the infectious agent that causes CWD;
- * prohibit wildlife rehabilitators to take in wild white-tailed
deer at facilities that house live cervids, unless they possess a specific
permit from DEC;
- * require retailers who sell deer feed to post a sign
provided by DEC to advise buyers of the State prohibition on feeding wild
deer; regulations will also prohibit the sale of deer feed that is packaged
or labeled for wild white-tailed deer.
- DEC will continue intensive sampling of wild deer in
Oneida County through 30 Apr 2005. Additionally, DEC will sample all deer
killed within the containment area pursuant to nuisance deer permits and
by hunters for CWD testing. DEC will use the results of all these efforts
to describe the distribution and prevalence of CWD in wild deer as accurately
- CWD is a transmissible disease that affects the brain
and central nervous system of certain deer and elk. There is no evidence
that CWD is linked to disease in humans or domestic livestock other than
deer and elk. More information on CWD can be found at DEC's website http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/wildlife/deer/currentcwd.html
- -- ProMED-mail email@example.com
- It would be quite unusual for a yearling to have the
disease. However, if that yearling was exposed to infected tissues at a
very early age, then it may be possible. Nevertheless, this presumptive
finding is extremely unusual. Likewise, given the statements from the index
herd owner regarding his direction to release rehabilitated deer back into
the wild, then it would also be expected that DEC would find CWD cases
in the wild. - Mod.TG
- Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
- Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message
board at: http://www.clickitnews.com/ubbthreads/postlist.php?
- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health