Two more deer have tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) at a captive wildlife facility in Macon County, Missouri. Deer first tested positive for CWD at the facility in October 2011. As required, the facility killed off the two infected deer and continue to test remaining animals that have not been tested.

This news comes at a time when Mississippi and other states are considering legalizing captive deer breeding farms, a practice which some critics say enables the spread of diseases like CWD.

The same wildlife facility in Macon County owns a captive hunting preserve in a nearby county, according to a report by the San Antonio Express News. A deer also tested positive for CWD there in February 2010.

Original press release issued by Missouri Department of Agriculture on March 7th, 2012

The Missouri Department of Agriculture has received two additional positive test results for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in white-tailed deer harvested at a captive wildlife facility in Macon County. Depopulation is continuing at the facility, operated by Heartland Wildlife Ranches, LLC, with approximately 320 animals harvested and tested since the facility’s first positive result was found in October 2011.

MDA has received negative test results for approximately 280 animals, with results pending from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory for the roughly 40 remaining samples. The current harvest and testing protocol requires the facility to remain under its current quarantine until all animals have been harvested and tested for CWD, which is a neurological disease found in deer, elk and moose. There is no evidence CWD can be transmitted to humans or non-cervid animals, such as livestock and household pets.

For more information on CWD visit the Department online at

Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife

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2 thoughts on “Captive Deer Test Positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in Missouri

  1. The CDC just released a paper on the concern of these game farms and CWD,
    and also CWD to humans risk factor update.

    I kindly urge you to look at the map ;

    which came first, the cart or the horse ;


    Captive CWD discovered 1967

    Free ranging CWD discovered 1981



    *** Chronic Wasting Disease CWD CDC REPORT MARCH 2012 ***

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    Occurrence, Transmission, and Zoonotic Potential of Chronic Wasting Disease

    CDC Volume 18, Number 3—March 2012


    Long-term effects of CWD on cervid populations and ecosystems remain
    unclear as the disease continues to spread and prevalence increases. In captive
    herds, CWD might persist at high levels and lead to complete herd destruction in
    the absence of human culling. Epidemiologic modeling suggests the disease could
    have severe effects on free-ranging deer populations, depending on hunting
    policies and environmental persistence (8,9). CWD has been associated with large
    decreases in free-ranging mule deer populations in an area of high CWD
    prevalence (Boulder, Colorado, USA) (5).


    CWD Zoonotic Potential, Species Barriers, and Strains

    Current Understanding of the CWD Species Barrier

    Strong evidence of zoonotic transmission of BSE to humans has led to
    concerns about zoonotic transmission of CWD (2,3). As noted above, CWD prions
    are present nearly ubiquitously throughout diseased hosts, including in muscle,
    fat, various glands and organs, antler velvet, and peripheral and CNS tissue
    (2,14,15). Thus, the potential for human exposure to CWD by handling and
    consumption of infectious cervid material is substantial and increases with
    increased disease prevalence.

    Interspecies transmission of prion diseases often yields a species-barrier
    effect, in which transmission is less efficient compared with intraspecies
    transmission, as shown by lower attack rates and extended incubation periods
    (3,28). The species barrier effect is associated with minor differences in PrPc
    sequence and structure between the host and target species (3). Prion strain
    (discussed below) and route of inoculation also affect the species barrier
    (3,28). For instance, interspecies transmission by intracerebral inoculation is
    often possible but oral challenge is completely ineffective (29).

    Most epidemiologic studies and experimental work have suggested that the
    potential for CWD transmission to humans is low, and such transmission has not
    been documented through ongoing surveillance (2,3). In vitro prion replication
    assays report a relatively low efficiency of CWD PrPSc-directed conversion of
    human PrPc to PrPSc (30), and transgenic mice overexpressing human PrPc are
    resistant to CWD infection (31); these findings indicate low zoonotic potential.
    However, squirrel monkeys are susceptible to CWD by intracerebral and oral
    inoculation (32). Cynomolgus macaques, which are evolutionarily closer to humans
    than squirrel monkeys, are resistant to CWD infection (32). Regardless, the
    finding that a primate is orally susceptible to CWD is of concern.

    Interspecies transmission of CWD to noncervids has not been observed under
    natural conditions. CWD infection of carcass scavengers such as raccoons,
    opossums, and coyotes was not observed in a recent study in Wisconsin (22). In
    addition, natural transmission of CWD to cattle has not been observed in
    experimentally controlled natural exposure studies or targeted surveillance (2).
    However, CWD has been experimentally transmitted to cattle, sheep, goats, mink,
    ferrets, voles, and mice by intracerebral inoculation (2,29,33).

    CWD is likely transmitted among mule, white-tailed deer, and elk without a
    major species barrier (1), and other members of the cervid family, including
    reindeer, caribou, and other species of deer worldwide, may be vulnerable to CWD
    infection. Black-tailed deer (a subspecies of mule deer) and European red deer
    (Cervus elaphus) are susceptible to CWD by natural routes of infection (1,34).
    Fallow deer (Dama dama) are susceptible to CWD by intracerebral inoculation
    (35). Continued study of CWD susceptibility in other cervids is of considerable

    Reasons for Caution

    There are several reasons for caution with respect to zoonotic and
    interspecies CWD transmission. First, there is strong evidence that distinct CWD
    strains exist (36). Prion strains are distinguished by varied incubation
    periods, clinical symptoms, PrPSc conformations, and CNS PrPSc depositions
    (3,32). Strains have been identified in other natural prion diseases, including
    scrapie, BSE, and CJD (3). Intraspecies and interspecies transmission of prions
    from CWD-positive deer and elk isolates resulted in identification of >2
    strains of CWD in rodent models (36), indicating that CWD strains likely exist
    in cervids. However, nothing is currently known about natural distribution and
    prevalence of CWD strains. Currently, host range and pathogenicity vary with
    prion strain (28,37). Therefore, zoonotic potential of CWD may also vary with
    CWD strain. In addition, diversity in host (cervid) and target (e.g., human)
    genotypes further complicates definitive findings of zoonotic and interspecies
    transmission potentials of CWD.

    Intraspecies and interspecies passage of the CWD agent may also increase
    the risk for zoonotic CWD transmission. The CWD prion agent is undergoing serial
    passage naturally as the disease continues to emerge. In vitro and in vivo
    intraspecies transmission of the CWD agent yields PrPSc with an increased
    capacity to convert human PrPc to PrPSc (30). Interspecies prion transmission
    can alter CWD host range (38) and yield multiple novel prion strains (3,28). The
    potential for interspecies CWD transmission (by cohabitating mammals) will only
    increase as the disease spreads and CWD prions continue to be shed into the
    environment. This environmental passage itself may alter CWD prions or exert
    selective pressures on CWD strain mixtures by interactions with soil, which are
    known to vary with prion strain (25), or exposure to environmental or gut

    Given that prion disease in humans can be difficult to diagnose and the
    asymptomatic incubation period can last decades, continued research,
    epidemiologic surveillance, and caution in handling risky material remain
    prudent as CWD continues to spread and the opportunity for interspecies
    transmission increases. Otherwise, similar to what occurred in the United
    Kingdom after detection of variant CJD and its subsequent link to BSE, years of
    prevention could be lost if zoonotic transmission of CWD is subsequently


    *** Chronic Wasting Disease CWD CDC REPORT MARCH 2012 ***

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    Occurrence, Transmission, and Zoonotic Potential of Chronic Wasting Disease

    CDC Volume 18, Number 3—March 2012

    see much more here ;

    Thursday, February 09, 2012


    and when these game farms claim they are testing, and everything is o.k.,
    think again…

    Saturday, February 04, 2012

    Wisconsin 16 age limit on testing dead deer Game Farm CWD Testing Protocol
    Needs To Be Revised


    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    New Supplement from Deer Antler Velvet, CWD, and CJD there from ?

    New Deer Antler Velvet Extract Changes the World of Supplements

    Saturday, March 03, 2012

    Farm elk running wild Escaped Saskatchewan animals a threat to Manitoba

    Friday, February 03, 2012

    Wisconsin Farm-Raised Deer Farms and CWD there from 2012 report Singeltary
    et al

    Saturday, February 04, 2012

    Wisconsin 16 age limit on testing dead deer Game Farm CWD Testing Protocol
    Needs To Be Revised

    Thursday, February 09, 2012

    Colorado Farm-Raised Deer Farms and CWD there from 2012 report Singeltary
    et al

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Oppose Indiana House Bill 1265 game farming cervids

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Stop White-tailed Deer Farming from Destroying Tennessee’s Priceless Wild
    Deer Herd oppose HB3164

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    West Virginia Deer Farming Bill backed by deer farmers advances, why ? BE

    Sunday, October 04, 2009


    Sunday, January 22, 2012

    Chronic Wasting Disease CWD cervids interspecies transmission

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    White House budget proposes cuts to ag programs including TSE PRION disease
    aka mad cow type disease

    Thursday, March 08, 2012

    Dept. of Ag Notified of Two Positive Tests for CWD at Macon County

    kind regards,

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