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CWD testing, research part of solving disease puzzle



Canadian study showed monkeys contracting disease eating tainted meat

If hunters need a good reason to get deer tested for Chronic Wasting Disease this season, they probably need only to remember the research recently completed on it.

The research, done by Canadians, found a link in monkeys between eating CWD-tainted venison and contracting the disease.

“It’s about the equivalent of a 7-ounce steak for an average human male once a week for three years,” Keith Poulsen at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab said of the meat fed to the macaques monkeys.

The lab does all the sample testing for CWD in Wisconsin.

The CWD monkey study is one of the few bits of research done on the disease. Poulsen says CWD research in Wisconsin is almost non-existent. And there’s not enough studies to be definitive from the Canadian research. Poulsen said that would take more research.

“We should be paying some more attention to this disease, because Chronic Wasting Disease we don’t know enough about it,” he said. “Actually, asking more questions than what we have answers to.”

Paulsen’s lab did around 6,600 tissue samples last year. He’s looking for way more during the current nine-day gun deer hunt.

“If we know more about the disease, epidemiology and disease ecology, we might be able to further target for something like vaccine development,” he said.

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