Reports of new areas affected with Chronic Wasting Disease pop up almost weekly. The disease is a hot topic of debate within the hunting community. Some believe CWD is nothing new and has little to no effect on deer and elk. Others see it as a hail storm of fire and death that will kill all ungulates.
Dr. Frank Bastian claims to have discovered the cause of CWD. Dr. Bastian is a neuropathologist and animal scientist at Louisiana State University. The accepted cause of CWD by USFWS and all wildlife agencies is a deformed protein prions. For 12 years Dr. Bastian has said they are wrong. Bastian believes a super-tiny bacterium is the cause and the prions are a secondary by-product. Bastian claims he has recreated the bacteria in the lab and hopes to create a vaccine that would be a cure for CWD. Of course there are detractors to his work.
Pennsylvania Game Commission CWD communications specialist Courtney Colley wants “to make it clear that decades of research have provided abundant evidence that prions, or misfolded proteins, are the infectious agent of CWD.” Dr. Bastians research was published in the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. Where do you stand on the issue?