Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a prion disease of cervids (captive elk and deer) endemic in some Western and Mid-Western states of the United States. Prions are infectious proteins and the causal agent of fatal neurological disease in animals and humans including CWD in deer and elk, "Mad Cow Disease" (BSE) in cattle, Scrapie in sheep and the variant Creutzfeld-Jakob (vCJD) disease in humans. Transmission of prions causing CWD to other animals or humans has not been demonstrated. However, because of its similarity with the "Mad Cow Disease" and potential public health implications, there is a strong desire to impede the introduction of the disease in areas where it has not been reported and eradicate the disease from captive and wild cervid populations. Occurrence of CWD causes economic and market losses to US cervid farmers. Trade restrictions within and outside the US are currently in place. This project will provide a risk management tool to assist cervid farmers in the assessment, management and mitigation of CWD risks and in the improvement of disease detection should it be present or introduced in the farm.
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The primary objective of this project is to develop a risk management tool to 1) assist captive cervid farmers to assess and mitigate the risk of introduction of CWD through introduction of captive or wild animals, 2) Assess the risk of having introduced CWD in the past based on farm, region and animal movement histories (farming practices), and 3) Evaluate and improve the likelihood of disease detection should CWD be present or introduced in the farm. <P>
APPROACH:<BR> Task 1 - Organizational meeting and develop project plan. <P>
Task 2 - Develop quantitative model for Chronic Wasting Disease risks.<P> Task 3 - Development of a risk management tool to be used by captive cervid farmers.<P>Task 4 - Testing, improvement and dissemination of the risk management tool..<P>Task 5 - Develop and submit a written plan to continue the maintenance, support and delivery of the risk management tool. <P> Task 6 - Preparation of a final project report.