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

Courtney Driver is the new president of the 100 Mile Performing Arts Society. (Photo submitted)
100 Mile Performing Arts Society elects new president

Courtney Driver wants to provide more diverse events

Erica Henderson the supervisor of early year services and programs at South Cariboo Early Years Centre and others were giving out Halloween Family Activity Kits the week leading up to Halloween. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Halloween activity kits offered to kids at home

South Cariboo Early Years Centre is finding ways to bring activities into children’s homes.

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerskson of the BC Liberal Party and his partner Shelley Wiese celebrate at his campaign office in downtown Williams Lake Oct. 24. Doerkson has been elected as the new MLA in Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Angie Mindus photo)
Updated: Lorne Doerkson elected in Cariboo Chilcotin in preliminary results

Outgoing MLA Donna Barnett said win is ‘exciting’ for region

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports seven more COVID-19 cases

Eighty-nine cases remain active, none of whom are currently hospitalized

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Most Read