CWD Impacts Hunting Revenue

Dr. Vic Adamowicz

Chronic Wasting Disease is a prion folding disease that attacks deer. It is similar to bovine spongiform encephalopathy that riddles the brains of cattle and kills them.
Dr. Vic Adamowicz is a rural economist at the University of Alberta. With funding from the Alberta Prion Research Institute, he is studying the social and economic impacts of CWD on hunting, agriculture and aboriginal people.
Resident hunting, for example, is worth $50 million a year to the Alberta economy.
According to Dr. Adamowicz, “…avoiding the spread of chronic wasting disease to the extent that it may occur if we can’t slow it down, we’re looking about a half a million dollars a year in losses to hunters in this worse case scenario. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but that half million dollars a year would occur every year if we can’t stop CWD. If we could invest in a program that in two years reduces CWD at a cost less than a $2 to $4 million, it’s worth it just from the hunting perspective.”
Dr. Adamowicz is quick to point out that there is no documented case of humans catching Chronic Wasting Disease from infected deer. His research shows that hunters are split on their perception of health risks, and that about one third of hunters feel comfortable eating deer meat before it is tested for CWD. √

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