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Old 08/09/11, 04:56 PM
Shrarvrs88's Avatar
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Eating rabid animals.

I was watching a show called 1000 ways to die, and one of the people highlighted was a taxidermist who would eat the meat from the animals. a squirrel happened to have rabies and he died from it, but they mentioned that the rabies virus only lives in the meat for up to 24 hours. I thought it was an interesting point. Rabid animals can still be safe to eat, but you need to wait until it is safe, and cook it well.

Anyone know anything about this?

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Old 08/09/11, 05:05 PM
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I didn't think squirrels could get rabies...

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Old 08/09/11, 05:16 PM
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I didn't think squirrels could get rabies
Any mammal CAN get rabies, but some are more prone than others
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Old 08/09/11, 05:17 PM
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any mammal can get rabies (and does) ...
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Old 08/09/11, 05:18 PM
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Dang, I'd have to be pretty darn hungry to eat meat from a rabid animal.

Freezing does not kill the rabies virus.

Heating/pasteurization does kill the rabies virus but handling the meat before it's cooked would be Russian Roulette and not worth it IMO.
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Old 08/09/11, 05:55 PM
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Would you know if the animal you are planning to eat has rabies in the early stages of the disease?
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Old 08/09/11, 06:21 PM
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You would catch it from the handling of the animal/meat/entrails, not the cooked meat. It is just a virus, so heat kills it.
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Old 08/09/11, 06:28 PM
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I vote no on eating rabid animals.
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Old 08/09/11, 06:56 PM
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To determine if an animal has rabies or not, the brain is examined. In Missouri, the state lab does this. But the average hunter wouldn't have the high powered microscope or the knowledge. When in doubt, don't eat it! I hate to see meat go to waste as much as the next person, but that isn't as big a waste as throwing your life/health away.
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Old 08/09/11, 07:41 PM
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Well I wouldn't but my vet was discussing proper disposl of carcasses, and he says if the body temp falls below 100 degrees f the virus is killed.
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Old 08/09/11, 07:55 PM
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How long the virus survives in the carcass depends on many things, but the colder the air temp, the longer it can survive in the body. Cooking it would probably make it safe, but you would have to be ULTRA careful in dressing it. I wouldn't risk it if it was obvious. The scary part is animals can be contagious up to three days before showing symptoms.
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Old 08/09/11, 10:33 PM
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I think it'd be a toss up between rabid meat and long pork... neither would be appetizing...
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Old 08/10/11, 01:02 AM
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I think in such a situation, I'd pull the rope a little tighter around my belly and hope for better luck tomorrow. Death from rabies, outside a hospital setting, is very long, very agonizing, and very unpleasant. At least in a hospital they can keep a rabid human comatose until they die. Happened to a local boy about 5 or 6 years ago, most likely bitten by a bat, never felt it, found no marks, and started getting ill.... which of course was far too late for the rabies shots.... Kept him in an induced coma till he died.

I wouldn't even consider eating a rabid animal.

I'd go digging for earthworms or grubs, or maybe turning over rocks looking for bugs to eat first.
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Old 08/10/11, 04:13 AM
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When I worked in animal control, we had 2 gentlemen eat a raccoon, and then (for some reason) after they had already eaten it, they brought the head in for testing. The raccoon was rabid.

The 2 gentlemen who ate it never got sick from it.

Not that one case is proof that it is safe, but it is possible that you can't get the virus by ingesting it. The usual way is to have it injected into the nerve path. Rabies travels through the nerves, not the blood stream.

Some studies showed it can be contacted by inhalation, so be careful climbing around in bat caves.

Prey animals are rarely rabid. If you catch rabies from being bitten, prey animals rarely survive being bitten, since they are bitten by something that intends to eat them. The worst carriers are species that tend to quarrel among themselves, biting and scratching but not killing each other.
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Old 08/10/11, 05:47 AM
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I wouldn't even consider eating a rabid animal.

Unless they were in the final stages, you'd never know if they had it
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Old 08/10/11, 07:09 AM
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I do not think you will get sick from eating a rabid animal. You only get sick(rabies that is) from the rabid animal's saliva getting into your blood steam.
You can eat all the rabies you want.
Vet confirmed.
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Old 08/10/11, 07:27 AM
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Certainly what my vet said too |Steff. Still I did some looking (as rabies is one nasty disease I like to stay current on) and came across this

Rarely, rabies may be contracted by inhalation of virus-containing aerosol or via transplantation of an infected organ. Ingestion of raw meat or other tissues from animals infected with rabies is not a source of human infection.
Form here

No site suggested any other transmision of the disease except from bites from infected warm blooded animals. No rabies in birds or cold blooded animals, which suggests the virus needs the 100f body temp to survive but I couldn't find and online reference for it. Great topic to re-explore though, rabies doesn't give many second chances except with very early treatment!!
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Old 08/10/11, 07:43 AM
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Not something to try as a treat but good to know if that is the ONLY food you had to eat in a long time that it could be prepared and eaten safely. When you get really hungry (like NK hungry) that fox wandering around your empty barn in the daytime looking for anything might start looking pretty good...
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Old 08/10/11, 02:04 PM
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Keep in mind that rabies like many other diseases can be in an animal long before it shows any symptoms.

A 'good' animal gets slaughtered before symptoms appear.

So long as the meat appears to be non-tainted an inspector will give it his stamp of approval.
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Old 08/10/11, 02:26 PM
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Just a random thought on what animals can/do get rabies. I wonder if there's been any cases of whales getting rabies.
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