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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Activism » CT Group lobbies for deer kill to reduce Lyme disease

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Author Topic: CT Group lobbies for deer kill to reduce Lyme disease
pineapple
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Newsday.com
Group lobbies for deer kill to reduce Lyme disease
1:32 AM EST, January 22, 2008

GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) _ A group of Connecticut residents is lobbying state health officials to kill deer to reduce Lyme disease

Georgina Scholl, vice chairwoman of the Connecticut Coalition to Eradicate Lyme Disease, says the abundance of deer is a public health hazard. She says killing deer is the only method that has been found to reduce Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is spread by ticks, which feed off deer and other animals. Scholl's group cites studies that show the deer play a key role in the ticks' reproductive success and is trying to inform the public and lobby health officials.

"It's something whose time has come," said Scholl, a Redding resident. "There's nothing that's been attempted that has successfully reduced Lyme disease."

Animal protection activists vow to fight any efforts to kill deer.

Natalie Jarnstedt, a Greenwich resident, has organized local efforts to oppose the killing of deer and other animals.

"It would be irresponsible to raise people's hopes on reducing the incidence of Lyme disease," she said.

Opponents to deer kills say studies show that certain mice, chipmunks and other small animals carry the Lyme disease bacteria, and ticks carrying Lyme disease will find hosts other than deer.

In addition, reducing the deer herd in Greenwich could be complicated. It's unclear how many deer are in the area.

A survey seven years ago showed that the town has 68 deer per square mile, but more recent studies show Fairfield County has about 30 per square mile. Researchers acknowledge they do not have an accurate method of counting deer, particularly because the animals can roam large areas.

Rick Ostfeld, an animal ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y., said evidence shows drastic reductions in deer numbers that can lead to a drop in tick population on islands and other isolated communities, but that's not necessarily the case in wide-open areas.

For instance, on the institute's 2,000-acre property, where 50 to 70 deer are killed a year as part of a deer-management plan, the tick abundance is no different than in the surrounding areas where there is no deer management, Ostfeld said.

"Over the long term, there is no relationship between deer numbers and tick numbers," he said.

newsday.com/news/local/wire/connecticut/ny-bc-ct--lymedisease-deer0122jan21,0,4052963.story

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pineapple
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Massive deer slay only way to stop Lyme

By Hoa Nguyen
Staff Writer

January 21, 2008

Georgina Scholl is not calling for every deer to be killed, but she is lobbying for a drastic reduction in the population, calling the abundance of deer a public health hazard.

"Deer reduction is the only method that has been found to reduce Lyme disease in any community," said the vice-chairwoman of the Connecticut Coalition to Eradicate Lyme Disease.

Lyme disease is spread by ticks, which feed off deer and other animals. The coalition, citing studies that show the deer play a key role in the ticks' reproductive success, is trying to inform the public and lobby health officials to be more aggressive in reducing the deer population, and as a result the tick population.

Although the idea of reducing the deer herd has been out there for several years, this is the first time a group is lobbying for health officials to play a greater role in deer management.

"There should be a health-related source of this information, so people can refer to it," said Scholl, who lives in Redding.

Scholl cites the experience of an island community off the coast of Maine, called Monhegan, which, after killing off all of its deer in 1999, saw its tick population and incidences of Lyme disease decline drastically several years later. Another community, Mumford Cove, in Groton, also saw its cases of Lyme disease drop 83 percent after it reduced its deer population to about 10 a square mile, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.

Scholl's coalition believes all communities should follow suit and set a target of 10 deer per square mile.

"It's something whose time has come," Scholl said. "There's nothing that's been attempted that has successfully reduced Lyme disease."

Reducing Greenwich's deer herd could be complicated, though. To begin with, it's unclear how many deer are here. A survey done seven years ago showed that the town has 68 deer per square mile, but more recent studies showed that Fairfield County has about 30 per square mile. Researchers acknowledge that there is no accurate method of counting deer, particularly because the animals can roam a large area.

"We have pockets of high density," Conservation Director Denise Savageau said, adding that the town is planning to update its deer statistics in the coming year.

And then there are animal rights concerns.

"It would be irresponsible to raise people's hopes on reducing the incidence of Lyme disease," Natalie Jarnstedt, a Cos Cob resident who has spearheaded local efforts to oppose the killing of deer and other animals, said in an e-mail.

Jarnstedt and other opponents of reducing the deer herd cite separate studies showing white-footed mice, chipmunks and other small animals carry the Lyme disease bacteria, and that Lyme-carrying ticks will still find other hosts if there are fewer deer.

Even if the deer population was known and there were no animal rights issues, there's still the question of how to control deer numbers in a town or state that borders other towns and states with similar deer-friendly terrain.

Rick Ostfeld, an animal ecologist at the Millbrook, N.Y., Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, said that while there is evidence that drastic reductions in deer numbers can lead to a drop-off in tick population when done on islands and other isolated communities, those results are more difficult to achieve in wide-open areas.

"You can't extrapolate to the mainland," he said. "It's not that simple."

For instance, on the institute's 2,000-acre property, where 50 to 70 deer are killed every year as part of its deer-management plan, the tick abundance is no different than in the surrounding areas where there is no deer management, Ostfeld said.

"Over the long term, there is no relationship between deer numbers and tick numbers," he said. "It only takes a moderate number of deer to saturate the environment with ticks."

Copyright 2008, Southern Connecticut Newspapers, Inc.

http://tinyurl.com/yrwtga

Edited to replace l o n g URL with tiny URL.

[ 21. April 2008, 08:32 AM: Message edited by: Lou B ]

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adamm
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Seriously...the bird has flown; the disease is a pandemic one,

which can be transmitted in PLENTY of different ways.

And BTW, isn't the white-footed mouse the most common

non-human host of the disease?

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bettyg
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Adam, late last year in one of the pub med articles it stated that the WHITE-FOOTED MOUSE IS NOT THE MAIN HOST OF CARRYING LYME!!

EXPERTS WERE SHOCKED AS WELL!

If my memory serves me right, they stated DEER were now the no. 1 carriers of lyme/co-infections! [Wink]

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just don
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havent these stupid people heard yet,,,that the 4 poster of treating the deer are far MORE effective at controlling tick populations??

Anyone ever tried killing off a whole population of wandering critters?? They roam for 25 mile or MORE areas,specially in rutting season!!

When there is a underpopulation in one spot and an over population in another, they seek equilibrium. Governed MORE by food supply than any other factor!!

Maybe the government should just spread Agent Orange over the whole countryside,,,JUST kidding,,,dont write to tell me how stupid THAT is...

messing with mother nature is not to be toyed with!! Just set up your 4 poster,,,spray your lawn areas with Tempo(Geranium flowers) and its as good as it gets!!

IF your rural enough,,,buy some guinea hens!!!They would HAVE to kill ALL the deer in the whole USA and CAnada and mexico,,,dont see THAT happening,,,time for secondary controll!! says --just don--

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just don

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Neil M Martin
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thanks

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Neil

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D Bergy
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Do they not have a Deer hunting season there? Just raise the tag limit and extend the season. This is not really rocket science.

D Bergy

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edoc02
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The life cycle of ixodes scapularis (the deer tick) is a complex 2 year affair. It DEPENDS ON the adult female feeding on DEER in order to achieve successful reproduction at levels that sustain the (tick) species. Reduce the DEER density to less than 10 per square mile and the transmission of Lyme disease is effectively STOPPED.

This has been proven repeatedly (Monhegan Island Maine, Mumford Cove , CT, Bridgeport, CT, and other places).

We can END the epidemic of new cases within 3-5 years if we start NOW.

This will require hard work and the political will to confront and refute the general ignorance of the solution and misinformation put out in public.

Interested parties should contact CCELD (www.eradicatelymedisease.org/)

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bettyg
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welcome edoc to the board; glad you found us, and thank you for the most educatinal post!

i checked out the site, and printed off copies since our city started allowing BOW hunting within city limit 2 years ago, but NOT MANY hunters have signed up. [Frown] [Mad]

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Cold Feet
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Wait a minute here -- Bb is carried and transmitted by more than deer ticks, right!? I thought this is well-established! Also, the "vectors" that carry Bb are diverse.

This is an interesting press release with some nice details on pending research studies:

http://www.primenewswire.com/newsroom/news.html?d=136913

Here's an excerpt:

"...NRFTD has funded an additional project focused on potentially reducing B. Burgdorferi infection in the wild. There are several types of animals, including different rodents, shrews, and birds, that are reservoirs for B. burgdorferi. Dr. Alan Barbour of the University of California at Irvine has been awarded a grant by NRFTD to develop techniques for precisely identifying the sources of tick infection with B. burgdorferi in nature. Dr. Barbour is presently compiling a database of proteins associated with specific host species, and the NRFTD grant will help him determine the most informative and sensitive targets for further development of specific assays. Researchers will then be able to detect blood components in the tick and determine where they came from -- that is, identify what animals a tick fed on months earlier. Once this is accomplished, disease prevention efforts that focus on natural reservoirs of infection can be initiated.."

There are many studies that confirm Bb et al in other vectors. E.g., many have been referenced here:

http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=064568

I am concerned about your post, role as a ER doctor, your organization and allegations about "misinformation." If these many studies are inaccurate, please set me straight!

[ 19. March 2008, 08:27 PM: Message edited by: Cold Feet ]

--------------------
My biofilm film: www.whyamistillsick.com
2004 Mycoplasma Pneumonia
2006 Positive after 2 years of hell
2006-08 Marshall Protocol. Killed many bug species
2009 - Beating candida, doing better
Lahey Clinic in Mass: what a racquet!

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Cold Feet
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Edoc02, I am looking over the web site you mentioned. This article is interesting:

http://www.eradicatelymedisease.org/strategyarticle.html

In this article, the Lyme-free town on Cape Cod is not mentioned...which town would that be?!

A strategy to eliminate Lyme disease
TERENCE SAVERY

Have you heard the good news about Lyme disease?

Did you know that a town on Cape Cod ended its Lyme disease epidemic more than 20 years ago, and has been a virtual "Lyme disease free zone" ever since?
_______

--------------------
My biofilm film: www.whyamistillsick.com
2004 Mycoplasma Pneumonia
2006 Positive after 2 years of hell
2006-08 Marshall Protocol. Killed many bug species
2009 - Beating candida, doing better
Lahey Clinic in Mass: what a racquet!

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treepatrol
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Deer management does play a role but its not all the species being bitten.

Mice,chipmonks,birds etc the list goes on.

--------------------
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Remember Iam not a Doctor Just someone struggling like you with Tick Borne Diseases.

Newbie Links

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jblral
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http://www.sove.org/Journal%20PDF/June%202007/pdf/19castro%20and%20Wright%2006-48.pdf

the above-referenced article is from the Journal of Vector Ecology. Now, it's just talking about California, where the Lyme-carrying tick is Ixodes pacificus (a slightly different bug than the one you guys have back east.)

this article lists DOZENS and DOZENS of vertebreate hosts for Ixodes. Ten different kinds of lizards. Couple of dozens mammals--your squirrels, your chipmunks, your foxes and rabbits and badgers.Couple dozen birds--your sparrows, your woodpeckers, your finches, wrens, robins. Sure, deer are on the list. But it seems like if the deer go away, that scrappy Ixodes will look around for one of these other guys scampering through the grasses.

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Tincup
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Deer Don't Bite People... Ticks Do.

Killing deer and claiming it will "eliminate" Lyme disease in humans makes as much sense as killing chickens to reduce the high cholesterol problem.

http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=064734

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Tincup
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Ed said...

"Reduce the DEER density to less than 10 per square mile and the transmission of Lyme disease is effectively STOPPED.

This has been proven repeatedly (Monhegan Island Maine, Mumford Cove , CT, Bridgeport, CT, and other places)."

``````````````````````````````````````````````

Actually Ed, I've read those studies and more.

First of all, there is probably no one on this planet that wants to stop Lyme more than I do.

That said.. if I thought killing the deer was a viable solution.. I'd be screaming it from the roof tops.. as I sat beside my 12 gauge and my 20 gauge... loading up and shooting deer faster than you can say tick.

Second, please note the "details" on the studies you mentioned.

Most are VERY old... very limited in geographical area (some on isolated islands or land locked areas)... and some went as far as wiping out the entire deer population and STILL had cases of Lyme disease and Lyme infected animals.. years later when it was suppose to have been stopped.

Also note.. much of the research done was on "deer" ticks... back in the time when "deer tick bites" were thought to be the only way a human could acquire Lyme disease.

There is much better and up to date data published on the topic that should be referrenced and noted before folks decide they want to eliminate a specific species of wildlife for any reason.

Also note the billions of dollars that will be lost for the state of CT that is derived from hunting and how bad that will look when we still have Lyme and NO deer.

Third.. what happens in 5 years when the deer are gone, we still have Lyme disease (we will) and the patients are blamed for being MORE crazy than was thought because they promised Lyme disease would END or be "eliminated" if all the deer were killed?

By the way... do you know how many deer would need to be killed in CT to eliminate them completely?

About 75-80 THOUSAND deer.

To prevent them from entering the state from other areas, we would need a fence 12 ft tall around the state and all airways would need to be blocked off... and all water ways. And that still wouldn't end Lyme disease.

Then we would need to kill the ticks that are infected that are still out there... treat the other possible hosts to kill off the bacteria in them... etc. etc...

As it is, about 14,000 deer are killed each year in CT by hunters.. and look at the mess CT has with Lyme disease.

And what about the life cycles of STARI? Or the 300 plus other KNOWN strains of Borrelia?

Or Bartonella, Babesiosis, RMSF, Ehrlichiosis, tick fever, etc... will they even be altered what-so-ever.

We also don't know if killing off the deer will increase mice populations... or raccoons, or bears, or any other species... and if they will become viable hosts... or should I say how long it will take FOR them to be viable hosts.


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Ed said.. "We can END the epidemic of new cases within 3-5 years if we start NOW."

No. That is not possible.. not at all... and I am dismayed that anyone would even say that... especially in public.

And it is something so out of whack and so not right... that the CT Dept of Health supports it. Go figure! That should be clue enough right there to make anyone run.

You know.. the CT DOH... the ones who have made Lyme the nightmare it is now and who have been paid salaries all along to allow things to get so bad.. the ones who have fought us, our doctors, etc since day one... rather than help us?

The ones who have been proven wrong about not just one thing.. but EVERYTHING they have promoted since they were dragged kicking and screaming to face the fact there was Lyme in Lyme, CT... by mothers who were concerned about their children.

The ones who have their hand.. heck, whole arms... in the tax payers pants pockets grabbing their money to pay for lousey research and JUNK science... and waste any hope and all available money they could?

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Ed said... "This will require hard work and the political will to confront and refute the general ignorance of the solution and misinformation put out in public."

Ed.. sorry to say... this plan won't work.

If you want to reduce deer populations to help prevent car accidents, crop damage, etc... or even in an attempt to possibly reduce the number of ticks, please advocate for that.

I'd even support that myself as good wildlife management practices.

But to claim you will "end" Lyme disease or "eliminate" it by killing all the deer or reducing the deer population really is a disservice to the cause of not only Lyme and all the current and future patients.. but to wildlife management and the health of our planet.

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www.MarylandLyme.org
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