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Well interestingly, what we’ve learned is to pay attention to the past, Aldo Leopold is considered to be the founder of modern wildlife conservation in this country. In his book game management in 1933 was the first call for addressing disease as an ecological problem rather than as a clinical problem and we haven’t learned that very well yet. 

Dr. Milt Friend

Emeritus Scientist 

Founder, National Wildlife Health Center

In this case today, with Chronic Wasting Disease, we have to be mindful of our past experience with prions in humans, and in particular, we all are so well aware of bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE, mad cow disease, and the fact that we languished for almost 10 years trying to convince the world that this might be a problem, only to find that 10 years after its discovery in cattle, it did show up in humans who had consumed prion-infected meat.

Dr. Michael Osterholm


Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

Chronic Wasting Disease is very unique among prion diseases because it’s very transmissible between animals. Deer seem to be extremely susceptible to chronic wasting disease and can acquire it from both contact with other animals and through contact with contaminated environments. Unlike BSE or Mad Cow disease were animals acquired disease mainly by man made conditions that is feeding cows to cows. And when that practice was stopped it was much easier to control the BSE epidemic. 

Chris Johnson

Research Scientist

Scientific research, scientific thinking gives us information from which we can then as a diverse group involved in decision making, get to the best possible plan to do things. You know scientist isn't God it but it's a set of information that helps us think through things in an organized way.

Dr. Julie Langenberg

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It's like two solitudes, the political world, the policy world, and the academic community, not willing to talk to each other, not willing to admit that they each have an important contribution to make to this issue. And watching as this slow-motion catastrophe unfolds. Fifteen years in politics haven't convinced me that that's an appropriate response.

Dr. David Swann

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