How Can You Help Prevent Entry of this Devastating Disease to Europe?
CWD is highly infectious and the infectious agent is very resistant to both weather conditions and normal disinfectants so it can remain in the environment for a long time. Additionally, it has been shown to stick to soil particles very efficiently. The only way to inactivate the infectious agent of CWD is to soak articles in a solution of bleach that has 20,000 parts per million of active chlorine for one hour or, alternatively, 2 molar sodium hydroxide. This treatment would obviously be highly detrimental to most clothing, footwear and hunting equipment. Therefore it is essential that hunters visiting Europe from North America and Europeans returning home from hunting trips to North America do not bring contaminated or potentially contaminated articles of clothing, footwear or other hunting equipment into Europe. This is also important for non-hunters visiting affected areas in North America as their footwear, clothing and camping or fishing equipment etc. could also become contaminated and introduce the disease to Europe.
Meticulous cleaning of all adherent debris will significantly reduce the risk of introducing CWD to this country, as will restricting hunters to bringing their own rifle only rather than all their hunting equipment. However, clothing and footwear for use in Europe should be bought in Europe and any that has been used in North America should remain there and trophies would have to be soaked in bleach as stated above to ensure decontamination.