B.C. wary of deadly deer disease in Alberta

Web Lead

  • Aug. 29, 2016 11:00 a.m.

Known infections of chronic wasting disease in deer and other wildlife as of 2014.

Provincial wildlife officials are concerned that a disease killing deer and elk on the prairies could soon spread into B.C.

Chronic wasting disease, a degenerative nervous system condition similar to so-called mad cow disease, has been discovered in an animal 30 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.

That’s the furthest west – by about 100 kilometres – that biologists have detected the deadly disease and the discovery intensifies concerns that infected deer may make their way to B.C.

No infected animals have been found yet in B.C. but wildlife health staff are stepping up monitoring efforts in the Peace and Kootenay regions, where deer are most at-risk.

Hunters are being asked to help by donating deer, elk and moose heads for analysis. Drop-off locations are listed at www.stopchronicwastingdisease.ca.

Anyone who encounters a sick or dead deer is urged to report it to B.C.’s wildlife health program by emailing wildlifehealth@gov.bc.ca.

Although chronic wasting disease is similar to bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Alberta’s agriculture and forestry ministry says there’s no evidence it can infect humans, but notes the World Health Organization advises against allowing any meat source possibly infected by prions into the human food system.

It’s thought to be unlikely that the disease could spread to domestic cattle or bison.

Outbreaks on game farms typically result in quarantines and culls.

Transmission is through saliva, urine and feces and is thought to be more likely to occur where elk and deer are crowded or congregate at man-made feed and water stations, according to the Alberta ministry.

Most of the Canadian cases have been in Saskatchewan.

Just Posted

BWC applies for federal money on homelessness plan

Dara Sutton spoke to council on Oct. 16.

Fernie in last stages of cleanup from damages caused by ammonia leak

Community memorial service in the works for 3 victims of Fernie Memorial Arena ammonia leak

WATCH: Steps being made to extract ammonia, say experts

City workers and family members spoke to media today

Speaking Earth provides guests with totally unique Ktunaxa experience

Paul Rodgers There is a painting and quote of Elder Mary Paul… Continue reading

One injured in Cranbrook stabbing

Shortly before midnight, Cranbrook RCMP were called to a report of a… Continue reading

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

B.C. NDP convention set for Victoria

Premier, federal leader Jagmeet Singh to add energy

B.C. school trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Chilliwack’s Barry Neufeld published the comments on his Facebook page

B.C. couple hope boat drone becomes first to cross Atlantic

Colin and Julie Angus of Victoria to have drone collect environmental data en route

Crawford Bay celebrates new playground

A grand opening for the renovated site is set for Sunday afternoon

B.C. casino accused of illegal activity follows rules: operator

B.C. had launched review after concerns about money laundering at River Rock casino in Richmond

Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

Ex-employee describes alleged sexual assault by B.C. city councillor

Complainant was a teen during the alleged 1992 incident

Most Read