While chronic wasting disease has not yet been detected in B.C., 64 white-tailed deer, mule deer and moose in the area around Libby, Montana have been discovered with the disease since June 2019. CWD is also found in Alberta. (Sam Fait photo)

B.C. hunters to help monitor for deadly deer disease in Peace and East Kootenay regions

Chronic wasting disease was detected west of the Rocky Mountains in 2019

A fatal and contagious disease for deer, elk and moose, chronic wasting disease (CWD) has not been detected in B.C. yet and the provincial government is hoping to keep it that way.

A mandatory sampling program requiring hunters to submit heads from deer harvested in specific wildlife management units in the Kootenay region has been implemented as part of ongoing efforts to prevent CWD from entering B.C. and impacting deer, elk and moose populations.

Since June 2019 64 white-tailed deer, mule deer and moose in the area around Libby, Montana were discovered with CWD. This was the first time the disease had been detected west of the Rocky Mountains, notes a provincial news release.

CWD is a progressive, fatal nervous system disease that affects members of the deer family (cervids). The disease is caused by an abnormal protein and can spread through saliva, urine, feces, carcasses and even water, plants and soil. An infected animal may be contagious for months or years before appearing sick.

Signs of CWD infection in deer include weight loss, poor coordination, stumbling and trembling, however, symptoms may take over a year after infection to show. The disease is not known to affect humans or animals other than cervid species.

READ MORE: Boy, 10, alive after family dog jumps into action during cougar attack in Lillooet

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 1 and until Dec. 20, 2020, hunters are required to submit the heads of mule deer and white-tailed deer harvested in specific wildlife management units (4-1, 4-2, 4-3, 4-4, 4-5, 4-6, 4-7) along the southern B.C. border in the Kootenay region for CWD testing. Drop-off locations may be found online: www.gov.bc.ca/chronicwastingdisease.ca.

The provincial wildlife health program is also calling on hunters in other parts of the province, especially the Peace region, to bring deer, moose and elk heads to drop-off locations for CWD testing.

B.C. has been monitoring for CWD since 2002. The Peace and East Kootenay regions have been targeted as high-risk areas for disease entry due to the disease’s presence in Alberta and Montana. B.C. will continue testing samples for the disease to ensure B.C.’s CWD-free status and inform any additional response. The B.C. CWD Program will accept heads from any cervid species collected from anywhere in the province.

Anyone encountering an animal exhibiting the symptoms of CWD — thin, drooling, poor co-ordination and stumbling — should report it to the provincial Wildlife Health Program at 250 751-3219 or the Report all Poachers and Polluters hotline at 1 877 952-7277.

The B.C. Wildlife Federation purchased and donated ten freezers towards the CWD initiative.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

hunting

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

Freeport — the camp site that was the region’s largest community

A story of the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway

Burns Lake to get a pedestrian-activated light

The blind turn at the RBC crossing to get safer

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

B.C.’s top doctor thanks supporters after revealing threats over COVID-19 measures

Dr. Bonnie Henry says COVID-19 has caused some people to lash out in anger and frustration out of fear

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

NDP, Greens divided on pace of child care improvements in B.C. election campaign

NDP Leader John Horgan recommitted to $10-a-day child care and blamed the Greens for not supporting his efforts

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Most Read