As Wisconsin and other states face a growing epidemic of Chronic Wasting Disease, also dubbed the 'mad deer' epidemic, many outdoor writers, veterinarians and wildlife biologists are stumbling badly, dishing out inaccurate and potentially deadly human health advice regarding the risks of eating animals infected with this mad cow-like Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE). In the St. Paul Pioneer Press writer Chris Niskanen claims that "The World Health Organization reports no evidence that humans who consume deer that have the illness can contract CWD or any related illnesses." Actually, there is scientific evidence that 'mad deer' might infect humans, and what WHO has emphasized is that no part of any animal infected with any TSE disease, including CWD, should be consumed by a person or animal. Robert Shull, the director of the state of Wisconsin's Veterinary Diagnostics Lab says that "the hunting population has almost been whipped into a frenzy about the need for testing on their animals. If I shot what looked to be a healthy deer, would I eat it? You bet I would." Really? That's a bad idea. It is impossible to test a live deer for 'mad deer disease' and a healthy looking deer could very well be infected. The State of Wisconsin is desperate that hunters continue to kill deer and buy licenses to fund state conservation programs, but misrepresenting the dangers of eating venison and sausage from infected animals is reprehensible.
WI Official Feeds Public Dangerous Mad Deer Advice