10

votes

Making bone broth with spinal bones from wild venison, safe?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 02, 2011 at 11:48 PM

I've always thrown out the spinal bones of the deer I harvest due to concerns over chronic wasting disease. Am I being overly cautious? There have been no confirmed cases in my state; however it isn???t far from states/provinces where there have been cases. I personally know people here who make brain-tanned buckskin but will only use pig brains from the butcher as a precaution. I???m also aware that there have been no confirmed cases of human prion disease from CWD but better safe than sorry right? It seems wasteful to me but I???d like to hear from someone with expert knowledge or experience in the matter. Do you use the spinal bones? Or am I better off to feed them to my dog?

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on November 04, 2011
at 04:49 PM

Misfolded proteins look like damage rather than agents of damage. There must be some sort of conditions under which they misfold in the first place, and then conditions have to be such that the body can't just recycle it. The lead alternative theory is that there is a virus causing the actual disease. It seems similar to the jump in logic they made with cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, too. Currently trying to remember if there was anything else. It must be about a decade since I read this stuff.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on November 03, 2011
at 07:21 PM

I am curious as to what makes you doubt the prion disease theory?

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on November 03, 2011
at 02:24 AM

That's been my policy so far, looks like it might still be.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on November 03, 2011
at 02:17 AM

Thanks for the info Mathew!

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3 Answers

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13
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on November 03, 2011
at 12:43 AM

I can only point you to the Centers for Disease Control for advice on this. I had not thought about this question before due to living in the UK.

This recently updated page by the CDC has some good information and a number of links:

Chronic Wasting disease (CWD)

Transmission

CWD can be highly transmissible within deer and elk populations. The mode of transmission is not fully understood, but evidence supports the possibility that the disease is spread through direct animal-to-animal contact or as a result of indirect exposure to prions in the environment (e.g., in contaminated feed and water sources). Several epidemiologic studies provide evidence that, to date, CWD has not been transmitted to humans. Additionally, routine surveillance has not shown any increase in the incidence of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in Colorado or Wyoming.

Specific studies have begun that focus on identifying human prion disease in a population that is at increased risk for exposure to potentially CWD-infected deer or elk meat. Because of the long time between exposure to CWD and the development of disease, many years of continued follow-up are required to be able to say what the risk, if any, of CWD is to humans.

Prevention

To minimize their risk of exposure to CWD, hunters should consult with their state wildlife agencies to identify areas where CWD occurs and take appropriate precautions when hunting in such areas. Hunters and others should avoid eating meat from deer and elk that look sick or that test positive for CWD. Hunters who harvest deer or elk from known CWD-positive areas may wish to consider having the animal tested for CWD before consuming the meat (information about testing is available from most state wildlife agencies). Persons involved in field-dressing carcasses should wear gloves, bone-out the meat from the animal, and minimize handling of the brain and spinal cord tissues.

This study looked at rates of human prion diseases in the USA. This quote is from the study:

The CJD incidence rates varied regionally, with the highest rate in the Northeast region and the lowest rates in the South and West regions. The low rate in the West is of particular interest due to the longstanding presence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) among cervids in parts of the region, particularly in Colorado and Wyoming.

This review from Emerging Infections is very detailed, probably more than you could ever want.

The fact that rates of CJD are not higher in areas of CWD suggest any risk is low.

Still, if it puts your mind at rest I'd say you are better off wasting your bones. Piece of mind is more important.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on November 03, 2011
at 02:17 AM

Thanks for the info Mathew!

6
13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 03, 2011
at 12:02 AM

I'm not an expert, but I don't think it would be worth the risk just for a bit more broth.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on November 03, 2011
at 02:24 AM

That's been my policy so far, looks like it might still be.

0
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on November 03, 2011
at 07:14 PM

I am dubious about prion/disease theory. As in so many cases, I do wish there were researchers with incentives & thoughts more aligned with my own. I suppose, as long as we are in a food abundant situation, it is safer to err on the side of caution, but I have a feeling we are all going to feel dumb for believing the propaganda.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on November 03, 2011
at 07:21 PM

I am curious as to what makes you doubt the prion disease theory?

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on November 04, 2011
at 04:49 PM

Misfolded proteins look like damage rather than agents of damage. There must be some sort of conditions under which they misfold in the first place, and then conditions have to be such that the body can't just recycle it. The lead alternative theory is that there is a virus causing the actual disease. It seems similar to the jump in logic they made with cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, too. Currently trying to remember if there was anything else. It must be about a decade since I read this stuff.

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