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Concept: Venison

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Following the 1986 Chernobyl accident, 116,000 people were permanently evacuated from the 4,200 km(2) Chernobyl exclusion zone [1]. There is continuing scientific and public debate surrounding the fate of wildlife that remained in the abandoned area. Several previous studies of the Chernobyl exclusion zone (e.g. [2,3]) indicated major radiation effects and pronounced reductions in wildlife populations at dose rates well below those thought [4,5] to cause significant impacts. In contrast, our long-term empirical data showed no evidence of a negative influence of radiation on mammal abundance. Relative abundances of elk, roe deer, red deer and wild boar within the Chernobyl exclusion zone are similar to those in four (uncontaminated) nature reserves in the region and wolf abundance is more than 7 times higher. Additionally, our earlier helicopter survey data show rising trends in elk, roe deer and wild boar abundances from one to ten years post-accident. These results demonstrate for the first time that, regardless of potential radiation effects on individual animals, the Chernobyl exclusion zone supports an abundant mammal community after nearly three decades of chronic radiation exposures.

Concepts: Chernobyl disaster, Deer, Zone of alienation, Abundance, Abundance of the chemical elements, Wildlife, Megafauna of Eurasia, Venison

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Consumption of lean meat is recommended as part of healthy diet by Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. Lunch meats are precooked or cured meats typically used in sandwiches and are also called as cold cuts or deli meat.

Concepts: Health, Nutrition, Milk, Meat, Barbecue, Venison, Cold cut, Delicatessen

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Excess meat consumption, particularly of red and processed meats, is associated with nutritional and environmental health harms. While only a small portion of the population is vegetarian, surveys suggest many Americans may be reducing their meat consumption. To inform education campaigns, more information is needed about attitudes, perceptions, behaviours and foods eaten in meatless meals.

Concepts: Nutrition, Milk, Meat, Saturated fat, Barbecue, Vegetarianism, Venison, In vitro meat

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Deer species are utilised for food, hunting and other products throughout the world. Consumers are typically exposed to venison derived predominantly from both farm-raised or wild fallow (Dama dama) and red deer (Cervus elaphus). The production of venison under farm conditions, compared to the meat of deer hunted in the wild, allows for a regular supply of a consistently good meat. It is lean, tasty, and rich in proteins and minerals, with a low content of fat and cholesterol. Overall, the worldwide demand for meat is still growing, and both the potential of farming deer species and their use as meat producers have led to an increased interest in venison. The current knowledge about various factors (e.g. nutrition, age, sex, condition, season) affecting venison and game meat has significantly increased during past decades but information regarding the interaction between production system or pre- and post-slaughter handling and ultimate deer meat quality are still very limited.

Concepts: Nutrition, Deer, Meat, Elk, Red Deer, Venison, Fallow Deer

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In this study, we examined the prevalence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. and the distribution of indicator bacteria in 248 samples of game meats (120 venison and 128 wild boar) retailed between November 2015 and March 2016 in Japan. No Salmonella spp. were detected in any of the samples, whereas Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli serotype OUT:H25 (stx2d(+), eae(-)) was isolated from one deer meat sample, suggesting a possible source for human infection. Plate count assays indicated greater prevalence of coliforms and E. coli in wild boar meat than in venison, whereas their prevalence in processing facilities showed greater variation than in animal species. The 16S rRNA ion semiconductor sequencing analysis of 24 representative samples revealed that the abundances of Acinetobacter and Arthrobacter spp. significantly correlated with the prevalence of E. coli, and quantitative PCR analyses in combination with selective plate count assay verified these correlations. To our knowledge, this is the first report to characterize the diversity of microorganisms of game meats at retail in Japan, together with identification of dominant microbiota. Our data suggest the necessity of bottom-up hygienic assessment in areas of slaughtering and processing facilities to improve microbiological safety.

Concepts: Archaea, Bacteria, Microbiology, Escherichia coli, Biotechnology, Meat, Wild boar, Venison

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Atypical porcine pestivirus (APPV) has recently been identified as a cause of congenital tremor (CT) in pigs and has been detected in semen and preputial swabs from boars that were known to be clinically affected with CT. Accordingly, the objectives of this study were to 1) detect the presence of APPV in semen, preputial fluids and preputial swabs from adult boars by quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) and 2) genetically characterize a subset of positive samples to better understand the ecology of APPV in commercial boar studs and the potential risk of transmission of APPV via semen. A total of 597 samples of semen, preputial fluid and preputial swabs each representing a different boar were obtained from four commercial boar studs located in three different states in the United States. Viral RNA was detected by qRT-PCR in 90 samples (15.08%; 90/597), with the greatest per cent positive from preputial swabs (23.81%; 5/21) followed by preputial fluid (22.81%; 26/114) and semen (12.91%; 59/457). The mean cycle quantification (Cq) between sample types was similar while eleven semen samples had Cq values lower than 27.0 corresponding to approximately 2 × 10(6)  copies/ml. Based on phylogenetic analysis of the Npro gene, different viral strains can be on the same farm at the same and different times. This is the first report of detection of APPV in semen from commercial boar studs. Studies investigating the role of semen in the transmission of APPV and production of CT are needed.

Concepts: DNA, United States, Pig, Wild boar, Domestic pig, Suidae, Pigs, Venison

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Non-lead hunting ammunition is an alternative to bullets that contain lead. The use of lead ammunition can result in severe contamination of game meat, thus posing a health risk to consumers. With any kind of ammunition for hunting, the terminal effectiveness of bullets is an animal welfare issue. Doubts about the effectiveness of non-lead bullets for a humane kill of game animals in hunting have been discussed. The length of the escape distance after the shot has been used previously as an indicator for bullet performance.

Concepts: Deer, Hunting, Pork, Bullet, Ammunition, Venison, Bushmeat, Cartridge

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We report a Trichinella britovi outbreak investigated during February-March 2016 in southern Italy. The source of infection was meat from infected wild boars that were illegally hunted and, hence, not submitted to post-mortem veterinary inspection. Thirty persons reported having eaten raw dried homemade sausages; five cases of trichinellosis were confirmed. Wild game meat consumers need to be educated about the risk for trichinellosis.

Concepts: Meat, Pig, Wild boar, Domestic pig, Pork, Milan, Venison

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Paragonimiasis is a typical food-borne parasitic disease, endemic in most parts of Asia, with sporadic case reports from American and African countries. The major source of infection is undercooked freshwater crab or crayfish, though consumption of wild boar meat is also responsible for the infection in Japan, because wild boar is a paratenic host for Paragonimus westermani. Recently, living juveniles of P. westermani were isolated from muscle of a sika deer, Cervus nippon, in Japan, raising the possibility that venison has been another source of infection. In order to clarify the potential contribution of venison consumption to the occurrence of paragonimiasis, we analysed dietary histories of those paragonimiasis patients in whose diagnoses we were involved between 2001 and 2015. Among 380 patients, freshwater crab had been consumed by 208 patients, wild boar meat by 190, and wild deer meat by 76 patients before the onset of the disease. Overall contribution of wild deer meat was estimated to be 6.8% to 20.0%, although in Oita and Gifu Prefectures, where a substantial proportion of patients had consumed raw venison, the contribution of venison consumption was much higher (27.5 to 62.1% and 42.1 to 78.9% in Oita and Gifu Prefectures, respectively). We demonstrated P. westermani-specific antibodies in the sera of 4 out of 160 sika deer from Gifu Prefecture, strongly suggesting that these deer were infected with P. westermani.

Concepts: Deer, Elk, Wild boar, Red Deer, Prefectures of Japan, Megafauna of Eurasia, Sika Deer, Venison

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Analysis of radioactivity data obtained under the food monitoring campaign in Japan indicates that elevated (134)Cs+(137)Cs activity concentrations in wild boar meat remained constant or slowly decreased in Fukushima and surrounding prefectures from 2011 to 2015. The activity concentrations in some samples are still over the regulatory limit of 100 Bq kg(-1) fresh weight, even in 2015. Activity concentrations of (137)Cs in muscle of wild boars we captured in 2011 were higher than those in kidney, liver, spleen, heart and lung. A food processing retention factor, Fr, was 0.5 or 0.6 for (137)Cs when the wild boar meat was boiled, suggesting that a parboiling process is effective for reduction of radiocaesium intake from wild boar meat.

Concepts: Pig, Wild boar, Domestic pig, Pork, Radioactive contamination, Venison