Chronic Wasting Disease.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is terrifying. The more you know, the more frightening this devastating disease becomes. Simply put, CWD is a rare disease that attacks the brain of deer and elk and is not yet confirmed to be non-transmittable to humans. We, at Northstar, certainly do not claim to be experts on the disease but we do want you to know that our elk either live in non-CWD regions (all live elk ranches are required to test for CWD) or, if CWD has been detected in the region, the elk are then also lab-tested when we harvest them and confirmed by the lab to be CWD Negative and completely safe prior to the meat being released for processing. This testing system creates a very bullet-proof filter for catching and monitoring the disease. All brain, spinal tissue, and lymph nodes are removed and verified to be properly disposed of regardless of the test results.

 

But, outside of the still-unknown, potential threat to human health, what’s so scary about CWD? The disease has the capacity to destroy the future of cervids (deer and elk). CWD has perplexed scientists for decades now and is slowly spreading throughout the country.

 

We should all be especially concerned about the threat of CWD as it stands to potentially destroy the deer and elk herds in North America, not that we should live in fear but that we are aware and rooting for those working to understand the disease. Getting a better handle on this disease will help us move closer to a cure. CWD is also believed to be closely linked to human brain disorders such as CJD (creutzfeldt-jakob disease) & Alzheimers so the spillover of a cure for CWD could have significant progress toward a cure or significantly more effective treatment of human versions of the disease. Isn’t it ironic that this “new” brain disease in deer increases in prevalence while a strikingly similar disease in humans rides the same upward trend?


2019 Alzheimer's Disease Facts & Figures

~ Alzheimer's is 6th leading cause of death in the US ~
~ 5.8 Million Americans living with Alzheimer's; Projected to reach nearly 14 Million by 2050 ~
~ Every 65 seconds, someone in the US develops the disease ~
~ Between 2000 & 2017 Heart Disease rates dropped 9% while deaths from Alzheimer's Disease have increased 145% ~
~ In 2019, Alzheimer's and other dementia's will cost the US $240 Billion; We're pace to reach nearly $1.1 Trillion by 2050~  

**Facts courtesy of the Alzheimer's Foundation

Mental health disease is crushing.


We are most definitely not disconnected from our surroundings and my thoughts naturally drift to potentially the same cause… environmental? On the same trajectory as our mental health crisis is the destruction of native prairie landscapes for "more efficient", chemically-based, mono-culture ag production systems. If we can broaden our scope of intellect to encompass our surroundings, I believe we can turn corners much faster in terms of human health discovery and the true cost of cheap food.

 

Live well this week,

Sean and the Northstar Tribe



If you have an interest in learning more about the CWD issue, take a listen to this podcast where Randy Newberg discusses this disease with biologists Dr. Kelly Straka and Dr. Krysten Schuler. Randy is an unapologetic hunter & passionate conservationist who grew up in Minnesota, now lives in Bozeman, Montana, still sounds like a real northwoods redneck but as you’ll quickly find out, a man of great humility, wit, integrity, and is much more intelligent than he gives himself credit for. Randy is a great role model in seeking truth without assumption, being informed, engaging in the issues, and jumping into the trenches to become an active part of the solution; a life lesson we could all make note of regardless of topic.

Here is another good article that gets deep into CWD: http://cwd-info.org/cwd-overview/

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