By Jim Beers
It is a simple rule of life that when brawling in a barroom, there are no rules. It is with this simple rule in mind that I bring to your attention to a minor, yet potentially major, aspect of the known biology of a little recognized species of tapeworm that infects wolves and dogs.
This species of tapeworm, Echinococcus multilocularis, has just been found in wolves in Slovakia. In North America, this species of tapeworm has been found only in western and northwestern Canada and a small area of Montana. A parasitologist recently mentioned to me that it may have spread into North Dakota as I am writing this.
This species, multilocularis, is of importance to rural North Americans since it is readily spread by infected wolves to dogs and humans. Dogs (and wandering wolves) can infest yards and homes (human living spaces) with the eggs of this tapeworm. The eggs are not only persistent, they are readily picked up by humans, their clothing, and boots and brought inside where toddlers and those that do not routinely wash their hands to those that unknowingly breath in the eggs when the eggs are disturbed and airborne in the home can become infected. One other rather important point is that the cysts formed by this tapeworm in human tissues and organs are very dangerous since they can only be removed by surgery and if they are ruptured (very difficult to avoid) during surgery, they can cause death. In other words this is one of the most dangerous (to humans) tapeworms carried by and spread by wolves.
So you are probably wondering what all this has to do with “brawling in barrooms”? The answer is that the foregoing information contains a nugget of information that has great consequences if I am willing to present it like the environmental radical community presents select propaganda in a way that I find repugnant.
I have long been outraged at the environmental religious tenet that is dressed up in “science” under the rubric of “INVASIVE SPECIES”. This bit of fantasy holds that there is something “sacred” or “right” about a “Native Ecosystem” and therefore any species of life that is not “Native” is therefore “Invasive” and subject to eradication and/or total exclusion from places that they are not “Native” to. “Native” is defined as the biological communities that were in Pre-Columbian North America, that is pre-1492 when the supposedly impure Europeans contaminated this continent. This concept is a direct copy of the Nazi-era German plans and programs aimed at re-establishing “Pre-Roman” plants and animals that were the result of equally impure Romans contaminating the Teutonic paradise. Repugnant is too light a word to describe what I feel for this biological chicanery.
In the past ten years environmental and animal rights radicals have used this “Invasive Species” argument to justify expanding federal authority, federal programs, and the federal budget. While they always use bogeymen like Brown Tree Snakes (Guam) or Killer Bees and Kudzu (southern US) to justify their wishes, time shows how they are aiming more at pheasants and brown trout to diminish hunting and fishing or specious assertions to justify stopping grazing or logging or shutting down growing portions of the public estate. This is done based in large measure on “science” that is on par with the global warming/climate control/global cooling quackery of recent times.
Yet it has worked, so what’s good for the goose is good for the gander and this gander now invokes the “Invasive Species” bugaboo with all the enthusiasm of a Druidic priest praying to mistletoe high in a winter oak as we all dance around a campfire.
Forget that Echinococcus multilocularis is deadly to humans. Forget that other tapeworms both dangerous and potentially deadly to humans AND carried by and spread by wolves are ubiquitous (all over the place) in North America. So far as I can determine from the literature (oooh that sounds so… scientific) and from talking to acquaintances that are familiar with the topic --- Echinococcus multilocularis has NEVER been found in North America outside western Canada and a small area of Montana. Therefore, (drum roll please) Echinococcus multilocularis is an INVASIVE SPECIES in all lower 48 states with the exception of Montana (who could probably adopt a County approach to Invasive Species eradication and get in on this action.)
Now since the wolf was stocked by the federal government and is protected by the federal government AND IS THE VECTOR OR CARRIER OF THIS DEADLY INVASIVE SPECIES, AND SINCE THE WOLF HAS SPREAD INTO THE NORTHERN GREAT LAKES STATES, MONTANA, WYOMING, UTAH, IDAHO, AND NOW WASHINGTON, OREGON, COLORADO, ARIZONA, NEW MEXICO, AND IS STRAGGLING INTO THE DAKOTAS, ILLINOIS, NEBRASKA AS WELL AS OTHER STATES; what can be done? Can the states kill all of these carriers of this truly deadly Invasive Species? Can state legislatures resist or overcome federal wolf sanctimony by declaring total war on these vectors of a deadly Invasive Species? How can the federal government justify spreading this infectious agent when they are charged Constitutionally with promoting “the General Welfare” in the very Preamble of the Constitution of the United States? Where are all the acolytes of a “pure Native Ecosystem”?
Like they say, when in a barroom brawl be prepared to do whatever it takes to win or get the heck out of there pronto. I (and you too, I hope) have no intention of running away from this fight so let’s either see this “Invasive Species” nonsense put to bed or lets haul all of these government wolf-enablers in the hoosegow for endangering rural Americans with a program that places a vector of a deadly-to-human Invasive Species infections under total protection while it invades the native state ecosystems while further endangering rural Americans’ families, livelihoods, communities, and ways-of-life.
This is no joke!
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Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.
Jim Beers is available for consulting or to speak. Contact: