So, this is a thing that hunter and raw feeders want to be aware of. It’s a disease called Chronic wasting disease. It affects mule deer, elk and other deer. Here’s a link to the Alberta page.
It is known to transfer to cats, not to wolves or humans. BUT one never knows when a disease will make a trans-species jump. Therefore when eating venison or Elk meat – avoid the brain, spinal column, and tail.
from a raw feeding list I’m on I learned this:
Infections are known in wild mule deer, elk, and white-tailed deer in a small area of the western US and in Wisconsin/Illinois, In addition, infections have been found in game farm cervids in USA (various states), Canada (Saskatchewan, Alberta), and Korea. Recently, isolated reports in wild deer in some of these regions have occurred.
CWD is in the spinal fluid and brain stem so as long as your not eating that then you should be ok.
There is no research that indicates CWD is transferrable to wolves.
Cats, yes. Dogs, no.
Where CWD has been an issue in the US, natural culling by wolves of ailing deer is believed to keep down the spread of the disease to other deer. When wolf populations decrease, the level of CWD appears to increase. Artifically culled herds lead almost invariably to decreased wolf populations, since wolves depend on stable deer populations. When the wolf population drops, the incidence of CWD rises. And then the F&W have to kill more deer, not less.
If you get a deer locally, you can feed it to your dogs without worrying about CWD—IF the local F&W guys allow you to keep it.
If you can feed it but you are worried about CWD transferring to your dog, don’t feed the brain, neck, spine or tail.