Characterizing U.S. Agency Approaches to Cervid Carcass Disposal in the Context of Chronic Wasting Disease Management: A Multi-State, Mixed-Methods Analysis

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Characterizing U.S. Agency Approaches to Cervid Carcass Disposal in the Context of Chronic Wasting Disease Management: A Multi-State, Mixed-Methods Analysis

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2023-07

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Abstract

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) prions are notoriously resilient infectious agents that can retain infectivity in environmental settings for extensive periods of time. Given their pronounced durability and evidence of widespread prion distribution across an array of host tissues, the carcasses of CWD-infected cervids have been recognized as a potential source for ongoing transmission. Accordingly, efforts that help limit the abundance and accessibility of potentially infected carcasses on the landscape have been prioritized, with several disposal methods deemed best practices. However, the availability of effective and sustainable options for cervid carcass disposal has become increasingly limited in various parts of the country, presenting challenges to involved agencies. Thus, there is a critical need to better understand agency approaches to this issue, including any plans, practices, and perspectives. In this study, data were collected via an online questionnaire administered to recommended personnel at all 50 state wildlife agencies in the U.S. and supplemented by qualitative interviews with representatives from multiple involved state agencies in Colorado, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. Overall, the information obtained by this effort provides valuable insight on cervid carcass disposal and its application for CWD management across the U.S. from the perspective of the numerous state-level agencies involved.

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University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2023. Major: Environmental Health. Advisors: Michael Oakes, Michael Osterholm. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 93 pages.

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Anderson, Cory. (2023). Characterizing U.S. Agency Approaches to Cervid Carcass Disposal in the Context of Chronic Wasting Disease Management: A Multi-State, Mixed-Methods Analysis. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/258731.

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