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The CWD Facts

The chance of bottled urine transmitting CWD is virtually zero. Frequently considered a catalyst for the disease due to its use in laboratory tests using highly concentrated doses, it is understandable why banning natural urine as a deer lure is regarded as an easy, sure fix to stopping the spread of CWD. The scientists behind those studies point out that their research shows urine is actually the least likely carrier of CWD prions.

Rank The Infectivity

Barely detectable levels of CWD prions have been found in whitetail deer urine, requiring million-fold or more concentration methods to identify experimentally. The volumes of urine required for experimental infection and detection make the likelihood of urine serving as a natural route of transmission infinitely small.

 

The experts believe deboned meat and tissues of the digestive system (stomach, intestines) contain up to 100,000 times more CWD prions than found in urine. The brain, carcass (particularly if the carcass contains a brain), and lymphoid tissue contain an exponentially higher number of CWD prions, believed to be 1 million times more than present in urine.

 

The experts, with over 50 years of collective research knowledge in whitetail health, consider urine the lowest risk for transmitting CWD.

The Facts

Fact:

CWD in urine can not be detected without amplification. Urine from even clinically sick deer must be highly concentrated in order to produce enough prions to test. The popularly referenced study for CWD in deer required a dosage of urine concentrated TEN TIMES GREATER than normal and had to be injected DIRECTLY INTO THE BRAIN.

Haley NJ, Seelig DM, Zabel MD, Telling GC, Hoover EA (2009) Detection of CWD Prions in Urine and Saliva of Deer by Transgenic Mouse Bioassay. PLoS ONE 4(3): e4848. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004848

Fact:

Even under experimental conditions that were extremely unnatural, ONLY 1 IN 10 subjects proved infected.

Haley NJ, Seelig DM, Zabel MD, Telling GC, Hoover EA (2009) Detection of CWD Prions in Urine and Saliva of Deer by Transgenic Mouse Bioassay. PLoS ONE 4(3): e4848. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004848

Fact:

The 11 participating facilities have been in business much longer than five years and none have ever had a positive CWD finding.

Fact:

Participating urine providers undergo annual inspections from an accredited veterinarian. This includes a review of animal records, state and federal documents, an inspection of the perimeter fencing and physical review of 20% of the herd. Additionally, every third year will include a 100% physical inspection of the herd.

Fact:

Urine-based scents from ATA Deer Protection Program participants are essentially triple-insulated from CWD:

 

  • Due to the inherently low risk of urine transmitting CWD.
  • 100% monitoring for CWD at the urine collection facilities further reduces any possible risk.
  • Additional requirements of the ATA Deer Protection Program that go beyond USDA standards takes the risk to VIRTUALLY ZERO.

Fact:

ATA Deer Protection Program exceeds USDA standards.

 

  • Greater monitoring for more thorough testing
  • Closed to animal importation / severely restricted exportation
  • Annual facility and herd inspections
  • Double fences to prevent interaction between captive and wild herds (If located within a 30-mile radius of a confirmed CWD positive cervid.)

 

Participating urine providers undergo annual inspections from an accredited veterinarian. This includes a review of animal records, state and federal documents, an inspection of the perimeter fencing and physical review of 20% of the herd. Additionally, every third year will include a 100% physical inspection of the herd.

The Experts

Leading scientists on the subject of CWD transmission and natural deer urine provide their risk assessment.

David Henderson an expert in CWD
Davin M. Henderson, PhD

 

Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology Colorado State University

Dr. Henderson developed the next generation tests to detect and quantify CWD prions in the saliva, urine and feces of deer and elk. He has authored or co-authored over 13 studies on CWD prions.

Nicholas Haley an expert in CWD
Nicholas Haley, DVM, PhD

 

Department of Microbiology and Immunology Midwestern University – Glendale Campus

Dr. Haley authored the seminal study which first reported CWD prions in urine. He currently works with wildlife and agricultural agencies on developing live animal testing strategies for CWD in deer and elk as well as methods to identify CWD-resistant animals.

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