Experts Say Potentially Diseased Deer Meat Have Ended Up On Canadians' Plates
Maybe just make a salad instead?
Anyone looking to dig into a nice plate of Canadian venison may want to order the chicken instead. That's because potentially diseased deer meat was allowed to be sold to Canadians by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The meat came from animals that were part of a herd infected by Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
The disease was detected on a farm in the Laurentians region of Quebec last August, leading to the culling of 2879 deer. Of those deer, 11 were found to be carrying the disease. While those 11 deer carcasses were destroyed, the rest were allowed to be sold for food. Of the carcasses allowed into the system, about 1000 were not tested at all, as the animals were too young to have CWD be detectable in their bodies.
Currently, there is no evidence showing that CWD can be transferred to humans, like its cousin Mad Cow Disease which manifests in humans as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. However, CWD has the potential to be transferred to non-human primates.
Neil Cashman, a University of British Columbia medical professor, told CTV News, "If you're supplying meat, deer meat or elk meat or whatever from a farm in which animals have tested positive for CWD, if you provide it to the market for human consumption, that's playing with fire in my opinion."
Experts had already been trying to warn Canadians about the potential danger in consuming deer infected with CWD. They believed that Canada's Food Inspection Agency wasn't doing enough to ensure that infected meat wasn't being sold on the market.
One of the biggest issues with CWD is that once it's detected, it is incredibly difficult to get rid of. That means that any farms where some of the deer have been infected with CWD will most certainly see more of their herds contracting the disease.
CWD has been steadily spreading since it was first observed in 1967, and while there still isn't a solid link to show that it can be transferred to humans, it might be better not to risk it and just have a pork chop instead.