Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a transmissible neurological disease of deer and elk and is similar to mad cow disease in cattle and scrapie in sheep. Scrapie, a TSE of domestic sheep, has been recognized in the United States since 1947, and it is possible that CWD was derived from scrapie. It is possible, though never proven, that deer came into contact with scrapie-infected sheep either on shared pastures or in captivity somewhere along the front range of the Rocky Mountains, where high levels of sheep grazing occurred in the early 1900s. (www.cwd-info.org)
Is CWD contagious to humans?
Although CWD is a contagious fatal disease among deer and elk, research suggests that humans, cattle and other domestic livestock are resistant to natural transmission. While the possibility of human infection remains a concern, it is important to note there have been no verified cases of humans contracting CWD.(www.cwd-info.org)
Schools of thought-
The DNR (Dept of Natural Resources) feels by reducing the deer herd to historically low numbers will reduce the spread of CWD (Wisconsin adopted this train of thought and has since cut it short due to public pressure and insufficient data that it works). The DNR accomplishes this by asking permission onto your private land which allows them to bait the deer and execute them for a tissue sample. Samples are then sent in for testing of CWD.
What should our concerns be?
- We don’t fully understand this horrible disease. There is no substantial scientific proof CWD is born of man’s interference or driven by nature through natural selection – so why do some choose to “play god” with this delicate resource without fully understanding why it exists?
- You may get a call or visit by the DNR and you may be asked to let them take a sample animal from your property. You have the right to refuse their admission onto your property, which is what we recommend. If you let them test one deer, be certain of the fact, they will be back for more until all the deer have been killed off. After they have decimated your deer herd they will then move to your neighbors property and do the same thing. The DNR has money from the state and they are going to spend it. The shooters get paid time and a half or more. They kill at night with high power rifles using a pile of corn to bait the deer in.
- The DNR is exterminating the IL deer herd through the use of paid sharpshooters funded by our tax dollars. Many feel this is an agenda driven by federal grant money the DNR needs to use up to substantiate their misguided research.
- What can you do?
- For now – Educate yourself, ask hard questions, follow the money trail. Demand substantial scientific proof this aggressive method of control works before you stand by and allow them to eliminate this precious resource we have all come to protect and love.
- Refuse them access onto your property to kill your deer until you feel educated enough on this subject to make your own decision. They cannot take away farm subsidies or affect your taxes, this is a state plan.
- Approach all state or federal funded research with skepticism.
- Push for legislation that will decrease the sharpshooting program and return it back to the hunter program allowing more tissue samples through, deer check in stations, meat processors, taxidermists, auto accidents and so forth. A proactive statement, as done in WI, that in turn, will fuel the economy and put food back onto many tables.
Quick facts- 8064 deer were tested in 2013. 1111 of them killed by the sharpshooting program (www.dnr.illinois.gov/programs) equating to 13.7% of the total! 36 deer tested positive for CWD which equates to .44% of the total deer tested, that’s less than half a percent! In other words 99.56% of these deer were healthy animals killed through unwarranted research. Through your cooperation, by refusing access, and speaking to your representatives about this wasteful spending, we may be able to redirect this funding back where it belongs into conserving our resources, and not wasting it!
David Wiehle (815)827-3455 nights / Dick Chudoba (815)742-5918
Articles referenced – http://www.cwd-info.org/ & http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/programs/cwd/Pages/default.aspx