Opinion: Sic predators on chronic wasting disease

Opinion: Sic predators on chronic wasting disease

News Type: State, Regional, Federal Source: Mountain West News
Click here to read the article: https://mountainwestnews.org/coexisting-with-beavers-95fe4f95d6e8

Erik Molvar, a wildlife biologist and director of Western Watersheds Project, argues that Wyoming’s approach to slowing the spread of chronic wasting disease ignores a more promising solution — allowing native predators to take care of the problem.

In this case, wolves and coyotes are better suited than human hunters to cut the disease out of the deer, elk, and moose herds because they naturally focus on culling the weak and the sick from the herd.

Trying to combat CWD with human hunting, on the other hand, is deeply problematic. Human hunters tend to target the largest and healthiest animals, not the weak and the sick. And ethical hunters will not shoot anything they don’t intend to eat. Now that Chronic Wasting Disease has demonstrated its ability to jump from game meat to monkeys in laboratory settings, what hunter will want to risk infecting themselves and their families with a brain disease likely to resemble Creutzfeld-Jakob disease with its memory loss, dementia and ultimately death?