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Province will harvest 25 deer for chronic wasting disease testing

March 13, 2024 at 3:52 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

The Province is taking further action to address chronic wasting disease by conducting a limited deer harvest in the Kootenay region where two deer samples tested positive for chronic wasting disease earlier this year.

The harvest, which will be restricted to within 10 kilometres of the positive cases, is another step to collect samples and help provincial wildlife experts determine if there are more chronic wasting disease (CWD) cases in the area.

In recent weeks, the Province implemented mandatory CWD testing, as well as restrictions on the transport and disposal of any road-killed cervids (deer, moose, elk, caribou) in the area where cases of chronic wasting disease were first found.

The ministry is working closely with Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡiʾit (Tobacco Plains Indian Band) to collect the additional deer samples. A general wildlife permit will be issued to Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡiʾit to collect up to 20 mule deer (primarily males) and five white-tailed deer (males only) by March 31, 2024. Following testing, all deer carcasses that test negative for CWD will be used by the community members or donated to food banks.

Chronic wasting disease is an infectious and fatal disease affecting species in the cervid family, such as deer, elk, moose and caribou.

The public is encouraged to report any sightings of deer, elk, moose or caribou exhibiting any of these symptoms: weight loss, drooling, poor co-ordination, stumbling, or generally sick with no obvious reason. Report to the 24/7 Report All Poachers and Polluters line 1 877 952-7277).

There is no direct evidence that the disease can be transmitted to humans, and there have been no cases of the disease in humans. However, to prevent any potential risk of transmission or illness, Health Canada and the World Health Organization recommend people not eat meat or other parts of an animal infected with chronic wasting disease.

In response to the disease being detected in neighbouring jurisdictions, the Province had established a surveillance and response plan for chronic wasting disease to ensure government was prepared in the event a case was detected in B.C. and lessen the risk of the disease spreading here.

In accordance with the surveillance and response plan, the provincial wildlife veterinarian is leading the response with support and input from the chronic wasting disease advisory committee and regional working groups, which include First Nations, stakeholders, experts on chronic wasting disease and other partners.

Learn More:

For more information, visit the B.C. chronic wasting disease website: www.gov.bc.ca/chronicwastingdisease

The map of the affected area can be seen here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/download/BC6A03B19BD24BD8A30580912A66C4E0

For more information about human health concerns, visit the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/chronic-wasting-disease

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