Friday, September 5, 2008

Mad Deer Disease and Michigan's Deer Industry

Leave it to industrious humans, we will find ways to make money off of just about anything. Deer for example. The beautiful creatures wander all over the state, high concentrations in the lower pennisula make it nearly impossible to safely drive in rural areas during the November rut. Clearly, Michigan does not need more deer. Why then are deer farms claiming over 26,000 head of captive deer worth sixty million dollars (USDA census February 2008)?

The deer farm association claims that deer farming is a billion dollar a year business in Michigan. That is an awful lot of money for a business that is based on deer pee and canned hunting. Yes, deer pee. In addition to allowing losers with tons of cash to come onto their "game ranches" to shoot and kill confined deer, deer farms raise deer pee. You see, hunters need to practically bathe in the stuff in order to get the deer to come near them.

So this business built on pee and shooting confined animals now is endangering Michigan's wild deer and elk herds through "Chronic Wasting Disease". Personally, I think Mad Deer Disease is a better name. Just like mad cow, this is a disease of prions. Prions invade the nervous system tissue, especially the brain, causing loss of function and death. The DNR and other hunting associations claim it is not transmittable to humans or other animals, but that simply is not true. The spin masters for the hunting lobby claim that "no deer to human transmission cases have been found". Lovely.

Here's the bottom line. we've allowed a bunch of people who profit from selling deer pee and running canned hunts, to endanger at least the wild deer and elk population in Michigan. At the worst, they are also endangering anyone who eats dead deer. Seems to me that the canned hunting industry should be closed down for good. But then again, I'm not making money off of deer pee.

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