Chronic Wasting Disease More Dangerous Than Originally Thought?
Beyond wolves, perhaps no issue is as controversial in the hunting community right now as chronic wasting disease (CWD), a degenerative neurological illness that is similar to mad cow disease, among elk, deer and moose.
With a new study suggesting humans may now be susceptible to chronic wasting disease from deer, isn’t it time for wildlife policy makers to better acknowledge that wolves make prey populations healthier?
The preponderance of scientific evidence supports the view that wolves generally kill prey that are vulnerable, such as weak, sick, old, or young animals. By killing sick prey individuals, wolves remove infectious agents from the environment, reducing transmission to other prey. The scientific community argues that in this manner, wolves help reduce the spread of CWD.
No doubt wolves serving as an unexpected ally in protecting the America’s most popular big game animals could be a hard reality to swallow for some hunters and hunting groups who have long opposed the predators. But it might be now or never.