- I live next to a 300 acre cattle ranch. Many times as
I drive past the bucolic pastures I watch free ranging deer mingling with
the cattle in the pastures. Until recently, I enjoyed watching the cattle
and deer, side by side, roam freely in those pastures.
- This Fall, however, the news about Chronic Wasting Disease
spreading throughout the Western States, and entering the Mid West in Nebraska
has changed my mind on the banality of cattle mixing with free ranging
deer and elk.
- There are some who felt that deer were exposed to, and,
contracted Chronic Wasting Disease, because they would eat cattle feed
in the cattle pastures. I fail to see how the US deer would contract the
prion disease, known as Chronic Wasting Disease, and the cattle who ate
that same feed in the US pastures would not contract a prion disease, such
- I believe that the danger is in reverse. In other words,
it is my opinion that the free ranging deer who are infected with prion
disease, also known as Chronic Wasting Disease, are a 'clear and present
danger' to domestic US cattle. I think that infected deer can infect the
pastures that they share, albeit, clandestinely, with their ruminant counterpart,
- I believe that the prion infected deer will create a
very unsafe condition for the US cattle grazing on pastures, that, could,
now, be infected with prion disease as a result of the intruding deer and
- As Chronic Wasting Disease begins to spread throughout
the deer population in the US, there is a very likely possibility that
their mingling with US cattle will cause a mad cow epidemic in the US.
- I am sure that the cattle ranch which neighbors my home
is no exception. Throughout the US, one can see free ranging deer and elk,
mingling, side by side with cattle on green grassy pastures in Summer and
Snow covered pastures in Winter. It is also not an exception to note that
Chronic Wasting Disease in deer and elk is escalating throughout the US
and Canada. Deer and Cattle, not only share food, but also drink from the
same water supply.
- The USDA and other US Government Agencies are trying
to ensure our food supply is mad cow disease free. I do, however, think
that they are concentrating their efforts on feed, and are overlooking
the above mentioned situation of Prion Infected Deer, and ek, mingling
with US cattle.
- Are we sure that Chronic Wasting Disease will not spread
to cattle and cause BSE?
- We do not know if Chronic Wasting Disease is infective
and IF pastures where infected deer and elk roam are also infective to
- I sincerely hope that the US Government will address
the situation of free ranging deer and elk, mingling with cattle.
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