Chronic wasting disease

December 3, 2009
By nkorom14 SILVER, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
nkorom14 SILVER, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
8 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Chronic wasting disease, more commonly known as CWD, has been creating an increasing problem for hunters in the past six years according to “Oh, Deer” written by Sara Dickerman. In these six years the amount of CWD cases in deer has increased dramatically and this has hunters scared and forcing them to do drastic things: not hunting in certain areas, shooting deer and throwing away the meat or quitting the sport all together.
CWD has affected one percent to 15 percent of the deer population in Wisconsin. Scientists have determined that chronic wasting disease is spreading through the deer population through the baiting of wild deer and the feeding of farmed deer. People can get the disease by coming in contact with the lymph nodes of the infected animals. CWD is similar to mad cow disease; both diseases attack the brain. Both diseases cause holes to form in the brain and can cause death. This is caused by “misshapen prion proteins that gradually take the place of normal proteins and destroy brain cells,” according to the article “Oh, Deer”.
The government has been spending millions of dollars in research to help stop the spread of this disease. Hunters are encouraged to donate the heads of their deer for research so tracking of the disease can take place. The government is also slaughtering infected and healthy deer in areas so they can track the spread of this disease.
Chronic wasting disease has become an issue to Wisconsin hunters including myself. My father and I have been asked to turn in the heads of our killed deer so they can be tested. There have also been mass killing of deer on the land that we hunt. The government has taken the right approach to this disease. This cannot be taking lightly because the disease can be deadly. Every hunter that kills a deer should have it tested for the disease even if no cases have been found in the area the deer was from.

The government should give more incentives to hunters that cooperate in the tuning in of the deer heads. The DNR should give discounted licenses for the next year to people who turn in their heads. This will persuade more people to take part in the program and the government will have more data to work within their studies.

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