Letter to editor: All Need to Join in Search for Live Animal CWD test, Vacc
November 5, 2014
The Daily Record
Published: November 3, 2014 4:00AM
Art Holden claims that there is no chronic wasting disease in the free-ranging deer population in Ohio. Is this really a fair assumption? As it is in most states, CWD testing on the wild deer herd is minimal at best. Since free-ranging deer have spread CWD in many states throughout the country, it's quite possible that the same has occurred in Ohio.
While it may concern hunters that a deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease -- the first in the state -- the incident shows that regulations designed to identify and limit the spread of CWD are working. All deer or elk farms that ship animals across state lines have to be CWD certified, a program managed by the USDA. The program requires that the farms test all mortalities over one year of age for a minimum of five years with no positive CWD tests. Additionally, animals must be individually identified, aiding in the trace back process, allowing for eradication of potentially infected animals, and restricting animal movement on and off farms when applicable. That's what happened here, and it should be applauded.
Currently, the only reliable test for CWD is on dead animals. State agencies should test more deer in the wild herd to be certain the disease is or isn't there. Also, it would serve everyone well if states would join the deer farming industry in their search for a live animal test and vaccine against CWD. That will help immensely in managing the problems of CWD in all deer.