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October 27, 2017 6:08 pm

Results in On Chronic Wasting Disease Testing

Thursday, April 6, 2017 @ 5:54 AM

Prince George, B.C.-  You could say, ‘so far, so good’,  as  latest sampling has shown  chronic wasting disease  has not yet been detected  among  B.C.’s  deer, moose and elk population.

Last fall,  wildlife health authorities put out the call to hunters, asking them to  monitor  deer, moose and elk for signs of the  deadly disease and to submit the heads of animals they had  harvested for testing.

Wildlife Health biologist Kate Nelson  says hunters  submitted  hundreds of heads from  animals for testing,  and all tests have come back negative.

“We had a total of  350 heads submitted  to the chronic wasting disease surveillance program” says Nelson, “That’s the highest number of samples we’ve received since we started surveillance  in 2002.”

Chronic wasting disease  affects the central nervous system of the  animal, and is always  fatal.  The disease is spread  through infected saliva, urine, feces and  infected soil.

“The closest cases (to B.C.) in wild deer populations  are in Alberta” says Nelson ” Last year, they detected it in mule deer just 20 kilometers  outside of Edmonton.”

217 white tail deer,  69 mule deer, 45 elk, 17 moose and 2 caribou”  says Nelson.  The caribou samples were from  animals  killed in collisions with vehicles.

Nelson says most of the submitted  heads came from the East Kootenays “We had a number of drop off locations set up  around Cranbrook, ,  so 236 of the 350  came from the East  Kootenay area.   We also had   samples submitted from  the north east, which was another target area  for us.  Of course,   we are trying to focus on areas adjacent to the Alberta border, but we will  accept  samples from across the province.”  She says  they are hoping to see an increase in the sample numbers from the Peace and Omineca areas  “’cause those   are areas that border with Alberta,   so we would like to see more numbers coming from those areas.”

She says B.C. is still considered ‘low risk” for  chronic wasting disease being present  in wild deer, elk and moose “But we don’t want to take any chances,  in case the disease  continues to move west across Alberta.  So  we really need to do our due diligence.  The more samples we have,  the better we can understand the disease in our deer and the health of our deer populations, so the more samples the better.  So if and when it  ever does   turn up in  B.C., we will have a better handle on it.”



if the drop offs in pg were more convenient they would have had samples but after a week of trying to get together with the co’s I just gave up and disposed of my sample try and do better next time guys

    There aren’t any drop offs in PG that’s why. They are located in the Peace and Kootney areas.

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