Tink’s® and Wildlife Research Center®, leading manufacturers of quality hunting scents, have significantly invested in the science of CWD research and funded a study with CWD Evolution, LLC. This has led to a testing process specifically designed for checking deer urine for CWD contamination, utilizing a widely accepted technology called RT-QuIC.
Tink’s® is now testing every lot of natural urine prior to bottling, to certify that no CWD is detected and provide final confirmation that Tink’s® products are safe for use without risk of spreading CWD. These products can be easily identified on both the packaging and the bottle label by this logo:
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a prion disease affecting deer, elk and moose in North America and Scandinavia. CWD is a neurological disease and is fatal for deer and related species. Scientists do not know exactly how the disease is spread, but theories include animal to animal contact, transport and disposal of infected carcasses onto the landscape, and possibly the long-term environmental build-up and contamination on a landscape through excreta, including saliva, feces, blood and urine from infected live animals over long periods of time. Deer that have succumb to CWD in the wild likely contribute substantially to environmental CWD contamination.
Industry and wildlife professionals have been seeking answers to how CWD is spread and reliable ways to detect prions especially in samples where CWD is at such low levels it cannot be detected by using traditional methods. RT-QuIC testing was developed as a cutting-edge research technique to push the boundaries of detection for prion diseases like CWD. The basis of the test is fundamentally different than any other test currently used to detect CWD. Instead of relying on the stability of prions for detection, RT-QuIC can amplify very minute quantities of CWD to a detectable level.
Years ago, the scent industry made a commitment to invest in the advancement of CWD science and research to keep taking steps in the fight against CWD.
CWD Evolution™, with support from industry leaders like Wildlife Research Center® and Tink’s®, have developed the next generation RT-QuIC test for urine. This adds yet another level of confidence that natural deer urine products are safe for wildlife. Today, CWD Evolution LLC uses this same test to ensure that all urine products with the RT-QuIC tested logo have no detectable levels of CWD.
In infected animals, the presence of CWD prions in urine is at such low levels, that traditional testing methods could not detect its presence. With the employment of RT-QuIC Testing Technology detection of CWD in urine was made possible in the late stages CWD.
This type of amplification testing is necessary to detect CWD in urine from deer. No other test previously available could detect CWD content in urine. Studies conclude that CWD levels in urine are exponentially lower than what can be found in other bodily parts and fluids. Even though detection in urine is now possible, the fact remains that infection via urine is highly unlikely. It is estimated that the infectious dose for a deer to get CWD through oral ingestion is approximately 16 oz of infected urine. Said a different way, a single animal would have to consume all 16 oz of urine collected entirely from infected deer.
Considering a population of CWD positive animals inhabiting the same location for many years, it is reasonable to conclude that excreta from those animals could eventually contribute to the contamination of that environment.
When considering commercially available natural urinebased scents, practical aspects of how they are used, and the testing protocols and biosecurity measures taken by responsible collection facilities like those participating in the ATA Deer Protection Program, the risk of those products spreading CWD is virtually zero.
Even so, the scent industry and wildlife disease professionals have continued to research methods that would provide additional confirmation these products are safe.
Look for products with the RT-QuIC logo to ensure you’re doing your part to prevent the spread of CWD.
Animal scents have been used effectively for countless years by hunters and trappers. Deer scents can improve your odds of success by adding realism to a grunt call or rattling horns, drawing in a buck during the rut with an estrous product, or just by simulating doe in the area to give a sense of safety. It is incredibly rewarding when you have that big buck respond to your scent set-up!
CWD is a growing concern. Wildlife agencies are under great pressure to take action towards stopping the spread of this disease,such as population management, carcass transport restrictions, live deer movement restrictions, and unfortunately in some cases, less scientifically supported measures.
Unfortunately, some take it so far that they propose their own ideologies to ban urine-based scents even though scientific studies don’t support this. It appears to be more politically motivated than science based. CWD prions cannot be detected in urine without amplification. In fact, urine from clinically sick deer must be highly concentrated in order to produce enough prions to even register on an ultra-sensitive test. In the study commonly referenced, the infected urine was concentrated 10 times greater than normal, and then injected directly into the brains of genetically modified mice, made to be far more susceptible to CWD than a deer. Even in these experimental conditions that were extremely unnatural, only 1 in 10 subjects proved infected.
Let’s be honest, deer in the wild don’t get urine injected into their brains. The scientists that authored the studies most commonly referenced when considering urine bans have this to say of urine bottled by ATA Deer Protection Program Producers, “the risk of urine-based scents spreading CWD is Virtually Zero”.
Urine used by scent manufacturers like Tink’s® is collected at elite facilities that are highly regulated and continuously monitored for CWD. Furthermore, these manufacturers and the facilities where their urine is collected, proactively participate in the Archery Trade Association Deer Protection Plan. This robust certification program was put together by disease experts, prion scientists, and state wildlife agencies to protect these facilities from CWD contamination.This program requires closed herds, increased monitoring, inspections, and facility requirements well beyond what is required by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Now, as a final confirmation the products are safe without the risk of spreading CWD, Tink’s® is having urine tested for CWD contamination prior to bottling. Some agencies have aggressively pursued bans on urine-based scents, stating there is no commercially available test to check the urine for CWD. That is not true anymore!
Speak up! Hunters have to stand up for their right to use urine- based scents. Take Action Now! Show up at public meetings and tell them not to ban urine-based scents. Contact your representatives. Make sure wildlife agencies know the use of urine-based scents is a safe, important, and effective tool in the tradition of hunting. Support the scent companies that are fighting for your tradition of deer hunting and using urine-based scents. Support the scent companies that are fighting against CWD.Look for urine-based scents with the ATA Deer Protection Program seal, and RT-QuIC Tested seal, on the packaging.
Greater than 40 peer reviewed publications use RT-QuIC to detect prions diseases like CWD.