Cause of spread of “mad elk”, “mad deer” disease found

It’s in their droppings, and the infectious prions never go away!

Really, really bad news about chronic wasting disease.  Study Spells Out Spread of Brain Illness in Animals. By Sandra Blakeslee. New York Times.

“Dr. Aiken said prions tended to bind to clay in soil and to persist indefinitely. When deer graze on infected dirt, prions that are tightly bound to clay will persist for long periods in their intestinal regions. So there is no chance chronic wasting disease will be eradicated, he said. Outside the laboratory, nothing can inactivate prions bound to soil. They are also impervious to radiation.” [emphasis mine]

Update. Here is the link to the abstract in Nature

New Update: Wyoming boosts CWD survey. This season, more state and federal agents will take samples from hunters’ deer and elk. By Cory Hatch. Jackson Hole News and Guide.

How did moose get CWD? Star Valley deer, elk likely have the disease as well.

Damn!! In the Greater Yellowstone and on the Idaho border-

How did moose get CWD? Star Valley deer, elk likely have the disease as well. By Cory Hatch, Jackson Hole News and Guide.

Maybe Idaho should sue Wyoming for wildlife malpractice?

Chronic Wasting Disease issue heats up in Wyoming

Infected moose in SW of Jackson, plus Forest Service renewal of elk feedgrounds and doubledealing stoke the issue-

Wildlife disease debate heats up. By Chris Merrill.  Casper Star-Tribune environment reporter.

I have this feeling that the Forest Service and Wyoming Game and Fish are about as trusty as sub-prime mortgage investments.

Update. Oct. 22, 2008. Groups call for disease action. CWD found in moose in Star Valley a ‘wake-up call’ to Game and Fish, conservation groups say. By Cory Hatch. Jackson Hole News and Guide.

Chronic Wasting Disease found in elk

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has spread from white-tailed deer to wild elk and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment makes no press release.

Wasting Disease found in Sask. wild elkThe Edmonton Journal

That CWD has crossed from white-tailed deer to wild elk is alarming enough, but it also raises concern about the potential for spread to caribou, wood bison, and other wildlife.

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