Debate rages over Chronic Wasting Disease testing

2 months 1 week 1 day ago Sunday, November 12 2017 Nov 12, 2017 Sunday, November 12, 2017 4:47:00 PM CST November 12, 2017 in Continuous News
By: Justin Kollar, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

ELDON - Chronic Wasting Disease is a contagious neurological disease primarily found in white tailed deer and elk. The disease is contagious and fatal once contracted.

The first case of Chronic Wasting Disease, (CWD) was discovered in 1967 inside a government owned and operated deer farm in Colorado. 

Since then, the disease has spread to at least 23 states, as well as two Canadian provinces. In Missouri, the disease has been found in eight counties

In counties where CWD has been found, the Missouri Department of Conservation conducts mandatory testing on deer harvested during the firearms portion of the deer hunting season. 

Last year, the Missouri Department of Conservation, through both mandatory and voluntary testing, examined roughly 26,000 deer. Less than one percent, nine deer to be exact returned CWD positive.

While these numbers seem underwhelming, Media Specialist for the Missouri Department of Conservation, Robert Hemmelgarn says it's important to catch CWD before it spreads further and the testing sites remain instrumental in detecting where CWD has spread. 

"It's really important for us to get an idea of how prevalent this disease is across the landscape, no matter how small," Hemmelgarn said. "If we know where it's contained to, we can do everything we can to slow the spread."

Some Missouri deer farmers believe that the Department of Conservation is wasting their time and the taxpayers money.

Manager of White Tail Sales, Bryant Kern in Eldon said the concern over CWD is fabricated by the government, as the disease is not as dangerous as the Department of Conservation claims.

"There are far more threatening diseases to the native deer population," Kern said. "Diseases like epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) can wipe out entire deer herds. Why doesn't conservation focus on these?"

Kern said he believes the reason boils down to competition.

"They really truly are trying to shut our industry down, they have been for years," Kern said. "CWD was first found in a government farm, so why they are pointing the blame at private business owners, rather than at themselves is beyond me."

The Department of Conservation mandates that all captive deer be closely monitored and kept free of CWD. When only a fraction of the entire wild deer population is ever tested.

Shawn Shafer, Executive Director of the North American Deer Farmers Association says this double standard is reflective of the governments grip over private business owners.

"They act like we are the cause of this disease," Shafer said. "This disease may have been around for hundreds of years. There is no evidence that supports the belief that the disease originated in deer farms, just because it was first discovered there."

Missouri deer farmers filed a lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Conservation in 2016 and won. The Missouri Department of Conservation had claimed that they owned all deer in privately run farms, even though they were purchased and were completely paid for by the farms themselves. 

Even still, if CWD is ever found on a deer farm, the government is allowed to step in and wipe out their entire deer population with no compensation necessarily owed to the owner of the farm. 

The Missouri Department of Conservation maintains that their primary concern is the health and well-being of the wild deer population. 

"Our mission is to slow the spread of this deadly disease," Hemmelgarn said. "We are not trying to put people out of business."

The Department of Conservation will report its findings from this years firearms season CWD testing in the near future.  

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS (AP) — U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri was among a handful of Democrats in the Senate... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 6:19:02 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Hundreds of Missourians gathered at the Boone County Courthouse Plaza Saturday to march 10 blocks with the intention... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 5:20:00 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One year ago, President Donald Trump was sworn into office, and on Saturday, supporters held a rally... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 5:00:00 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - A CNN report that the FBI has opened an inquiry into Gov. Eric Greitens "would not be... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 4:05:00 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A Jefferson City woman is encouraging people to lock their car doors after she caught a thief... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 3:42:00 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Members of the community met, adopted and played with cats and kittens Saturday at a Columbia pet store.... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 2:52:00 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens said there was no blackmail or threatened violence in an extramarital... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 1:09:00 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police have made an arrest in a double shooting that left a 46-year-old... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 12:49:41 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
SEDALIA - The Pettis County prosecutor has issued a warrant for the arrest of a man in connection to the... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 12:33:00 PM CST January 20, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Coyote sightings are becoming more frequent in the St. Louis area, and some are strolling down... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 10:37:36 AM CST January 20, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The number of confirmed cases of chronic wasting disease in Missouri deer is up, but... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 10:26:00 AM CST January 20, 2018 in News
RICHMOND, Va. - The Federal Bureau of Investigation is asking for the public's help with identifying a serial robber called... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 9:59:00 AM CST January 20, 2018 in News
CHARITON COUNTY -- Alonzo Bernard Thorpe of Clark, Missouri was found guilty of eight counts of child molestation and two... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 7:38:00 AM CST January 20, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In the final moments leading up to Friday's midnight deadline, Senate Republicans and Democrats were unable to... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 5:00:00 AM CST January 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) - The FBI recently opened an inquiry into Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, two US officials told CNN, as he... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 9:19:05 PM CST January 19, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A visiting MU researcher is working to fight cancer with blueberries - specifically the extract of the fruit.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 8:06:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some facilities in the state may be required to hang posters with information about human trafficking by the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 6:43:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri offered Amazon nearly $2.5 billion in incentives over 10 years in a bid to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 5:25:09 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 48°
10pm 45°
11pm 46°
12am 47°
1am 47°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

9:00p
Saturday Night Live
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
10:29p
Saturday Night Live
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld
10:00p
The King of Queens

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Will & Grace
7:30p
Superstore
8:00p
Dateline NBC
9:00p
Saturday Night Live
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld