Chronic Wasting Disease is a neurological disease affecting deer, moose and elk. CWD falls under a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. The disease affects the brain and eventually leads to death. Others illness in this group include BSE or the now famous "Mad Cow" disease. While these wasting diseases have been around for a couple hundred years in sheep and other livestock, the first cases of CWD found in deer were in Colorado in 1967. These were documented in captive mule deer.
States bordering Colorado soon found the disease had moved onto their turf. Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and many other states and Canadian Provinces have reported cases of the illness in the wild. Those with game ranches or wild game breeding facilities began testing for the disease. Missouri was one of the latest states to report CWD in captive animals. The first reported cases didn't sneak across the border. They popped up right in the middle of North Central Missouri. A game farm operating in Linn and Macon Counties had several deer test positive for the disease in 2010 and 2011. Now for the bad news...
Missouri has now had its first cases of CWD in wild, free roaming deer. So far only 2 deer tested positive after 1077 samples were taken from the region. Anybody wanna guess where it popped up? The wild deer were harvested within 2 miles of the game farm in Macon County. The following is an excerpt from cwd-info.org .
MDC conducted its tissue-sampling effort during the fall firearms season in November in response to two cases of CWD found in captive white-tailed deer at two private, captive-hunting preserves in Linn and Macon counties. A third captive deer at one of the preserves tested positive for CWD in December. The two earlier cases of CWD found at the private hunting preserves were detected in February 2010 and October 2011. The two free-ranging bucks that tested positive were harvested within two miles of the Macon County preserve.
Should the game farm in question pay fines for spreading the infection to Missouri?