Date: 3/2/17 8:35 am
From: Donald C. Steinkraus <steinkr...>
Subject: Re: Prions in Deer and effects on vultures, eagles, humans?
Prions are frightening for a variety of reasons. For one thing, when scientists or medical or veterinary researchers report their findings critical reading of the papers often reveal either experimental weaknesses or reveal how little is really known.

So, when I read that these prions from deer only infect deer and their close relatives, I take this with a grain of salt. How was this proven or tested? For one thing, all people (or birds or animals) react somewhat differently to everything.

An true first hand example of this: A friend of mine had high blood pressure. He was prescribed a blood pressure medication that millions of people take. But his body could not tolerate this medication. It was killing his liver and he would have died from the effects of this medication on his body. Luckily he realized something was drastically wrong, went to his doctor, they figured it out, and he stopped taking the "drug/medication". This happens all the time.

So, perhaps, out of 1,000 people, or vultures, or eagles, or crows, that ingest dead deer meat from an animal that died from prions, maybe 99% will not become infected or damaged themselves, but maybe 1% will be susceptible and die from it. That would result in 10 people, or 10 vultures, etc. being harmed by prions from the deer.

Has anyone tested prions from deer for their infectivity to humans, vultures, eagles, crows? I am certain the answer is "no". To do the experiment properly a scientist would have to test at least 1,000 people or crows, or whatever, feed them prions, and have a control group of 1000. Then they would have to watch the two groups, monitor their health, for a decade or more. This has not been done and will not be done.

Just my two cents as a person who has been a scientist for 40 years, who has conducted a hundred or more experiments resulting in peer reviewed journal articles.

I always ask myself "Where is the evidence?!" "Who proved it?!" "Does their experimental design, sample size, justify their conclusions?"

Don Steinkraus

From: The Birds of Arkansas Discussion List <ARBIRD-L...> on behalf of Jeffrey Short <bashman...>
Sent: Thursday, March 2, 2017 10:05 AM
To: <ARBIRD-L...>
Subject: Re: typo

Since prions related to CWD can persist in the environment for a long time, can they be spread in the carrion-feeder droppings from feeding on infected cervids?

Jeff Short

From: The Birds of Arkansas Discussion List [mailto:<ARBIRD-L...>] On Behalf Of Judy & Don
Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2017 9:13 AM
To: <ARBIRD-L...>
Subject: typo

Should read "cervids" not corvids. I was worried about crows. J

Following my post about eagles consuming the carcass of a deer that possibly died of CWD - and there are many unobserved cases of this scavenging behavior based on the number of CWD deaths in NW Arkansas alone - Barry Haas asked about disease transmission to eagles and vultures, etc. The most recent understanding I had been given by an AGFC agent was that the disease was only transmissible to other cervids. So this week I inquired about the latest findings on CWD and scavengers, specifically raptors and other avians, as well as other non-cervid animals. I received this info from the manager of the Elk Center in Ponca. Whatever is shared in this upcoming meeting should soon be available on the AGFC website.

Ninestone, Carroll County

The public meeting will be at 6pm on March 14th at the Carroll Electric building in Jasper. I sent an email to Little Rock asking if a video will be available on the website, or even live streamed, but haven't had a response yet. Will let you know.

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