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)

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

DOH
Council boosts budget slightly

Council gave its official blessing Jan. 19 to increasing taxes to pay… Continue reading

Ski trails
Great skiing in Houston

The trails are in good shape at Morice Mountain Nordic Ski Club.… Continue reading

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

The food hub survey showed that over 61 per cent respondents were looking to expand their business. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Houston Today)
RDBN’s food hub survey highlights producers’ needs

The project team to set up further discussion sessions with producers this year

“We are very excited and very grateful that in a year that has been challenging for a lot of people, we have been fortunate to be where we are,” said Tim Close, the manager for Tim Hortons, Houston. (Laura Blackwell photo/Houston Today)
British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Former BC Ferries employee alleges he was fired because of his race

Imraan Goondiwala has been granted a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker have been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
B.C. couple who travelled to Yukon for COVID vaccine ineligible for 2nd dose until summer

Health officials planning new measures to ensure people verify where they live before inoculation

(File)
Mask dispute in court leaves Vancouver cop with broken leg

Man allegedly refused to put on a mask and resisted arrest

(Kraft Dinner/Twitter)
Kraft Dinner launches candy-flavoured mac and cheese just in time for Valentine’s Day

Sweet and cheesy treat will be here just in time for the cheesiest holiday of the year

SAR crews worked late into the night Tuesday to rescue an injured snowboarder in North Vancouver. (Facebook/North Shore Rescue)
Complicated, dangerous rescue saves man in avalanche near Cypress Mountain

North Shore SAR team braves considerable conditions to reach injured snowboarder

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
UPDATE: No sign of small plane that went down in waters south of Vancouver Island

Searchers out on both sides of border between Victoria and Port Angeles

Most Read