Due to the regular amending of regulations in Alberta, it is recommended that before hunting you check these CWD regulations, as well as those of any other states or provinces in which you will be hunting or traveling through while transporting cervid carcasses. The contact information for Alberta can be seen below:
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We are making good progress on testing the heads submitted during the 2015/16 hunting seasons. But we still have about 900 yet to do. To date we have test results from 3921 heads and detected CWD in 74 deer (68 mule deer, 6 white-tailed deer;…
We are making good progress on testing the heads submitted during the 2015/16 hunting seasons. But we still have about 900 yet to do. To date we have test results from 3921 heads and detected CWD in 74 deer (68 mule deer, 6 white-tailed deer; 53 males, 20 females, 1 of unknown gender). Majority of these cases are mule deer bucks.
The geographic distribution of CWD continues to expand with the disease identified in the 2015/16 sample to date in 5 WMUs where CWD was not previously known to occur. These include WMU 116 in southeast, 158 and 166 in eastcentral, and 500 in northeast Alberta. These cases are on the Milk River, Red Deer River, and North Saskatchewan River, respectively.
However, the most remarkable new case is an outlier in WMU 242 approximately 100 km further west than the closest known case. This was a mule deer buck harvested on the northern edge of the Battle River watershed west of Miquelon Lake and approximately 30 km southeast of Edmonton. Although we know CWD is well-established in the eastern reaches of the Battle River, the case in WMU 242 significantly expands the known distribution of CWD in central Alberta.
The 24-hr freezers are no longer available. However, heads can still be submitted at any Fish and Wildlife office during their office hours. See page 14 of the 2015 Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations for office locations and phone numbers. Additional information about preparing and submitting heads can be found at:
The success of the CWD surveillance program relies heavily on participation by hunters, guides, and landowners to ensure a successful harvest that provides heads to be tested. We gratefully acknowledge the efforts of one and all.
The total number of CWD cases detected in wild deer in Alberta since September 2005 is 371.
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Hunters continue to play important role in disease surveillance
Twelve new cases of chronic wasting disease have been identified in wild deer as a result of Alberta’s fall surveillance program. Hunters have submitted more than 4,800 wild deer heads for testing since September 1, 2009.
One new case was detected south of Highway 1, 25 kilometres south of Medicine Hat. Another case was found just east of Highway 884 along the Red Deer River. These cases mark the furthest south and west locations where chronic wasting disease has been detected. The remaining 10 cases were detected near past positive cases. Eleven of the 12 new positive cases were mule deer and nine of the hunter-killed cases were adult males, including an adult male white-tailed deer. The chronic wasting disease hunter surveillance program for 2009-2010 cost $500,000.
Sustainable Resource Development continues to talk with stakeholders and landowners in the area to discuss plans for management. Current strategies for monitoring the spread of chronic wasting disease include maximizing the harvest of deer in risk areas and continuing to test for the disease. This includes testing road-kill and any wild deer that may show symptoms of chronic wasting disease, which includes loss of coordination, weight loss, excessive salivating and isolation from other deer.
The 12 new cases, along with an emaciated deer found in June, bring the total to 13 new cases of chronic wasting disease found in 2009. Since the first case of chronic wasting disease was detected in 2005, there have been 74 cases of the disease detected in wild deer in the province. Ongoing surveillance of wild deer and elk in Alberta began in 1996. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that chronic wasting disease can affect humans. For more information on the chronic wasting disease program, visit this link.
The chronic wasting disease 2008 fall hunter surveillance program is winding down. As of January 7, 2009, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development lab has completed tests on just over 3,000 heads. Individual hunters are notified of negative results when they are available through the Alberta Relm site, and letters are sent in the mail. Hunters should check the webpage for results generally four to six weeks after submitting the head. A blank screen means that no results for that animal are available. Note that a hunter can access information only about their own deer. Any hunter who harvests a CWD-positive deer receives a phone call directly from Fish and Wildlife.
To date we have found six new cases of chronic wasting disease from the fall 2008 surveillance samples, as shown on the updated map and included in the table of cumulative results.
Hunters, please note that if you still have frozen deer heads that you would like to submit to the CWD surveillance program, please drop them off at any Fish and Wildlife office during regular office hours.
EDMONTON – Twenty-four more cases of chronic wasting disease have been found in Alberta’s wild deer, the Sustainable Resource Development of Alberta announced Tuesday.
The results, from a 2007-2008 testing program, bring the province’s count of the disease up to 53 cases.
CWD affects the central nervous system and causes infected animals to slowly waste away. Evidence suggests it does not affect humans.
Darcy Whiteside, spokesperson for Sustainable Resource and Development, said the department has consulted with communities such as Provost, Oyen and Wainwright, where many of the diseased deer have been detected.
“The next step is really making hunters aware there are opportunities here,” he said, referring to an ongoing hunting program the government implemented in 2005 when the first diseased deer was found 30 kilometers southeast of Oyen.
The program aims to reduce deer populations and track the disease.
“It’s a contagious disease, so any animal we can take away from the population is a plus,” he said, adding the province was seeing excessive growth in the number of wild deer even before CDW.
But Whiteside said the new numbers are not huge.
“We’re still seeing very low percentages,” he said. “There were more deer tested this year.”
The disease first appeared in the ’70s in Colorado. Whiteside said both mule deer and white-tail deer have been affected in Canada.
“Saskatchewan this year confirmed the first case in wild elk in their province,” he said. “We do know from cases in the U.S. (that) moose can be affected and there’s no reason to think caribou wouldn’t be either.”
Robert Hudson, acting director of the Alberta Veterinary Research Institute, said the disease is relatively new and research is limited on how it’s trasmitted.
“It can be disturbing, all these unknowns,” he said, but going by evidence south of the border, “it appears the things we feared most – human cases, effect on wild populations – hasn’t been quite as alarming as people might’ve suspected.”
“But with all of these things, they take a long time to evolve and you can never be sure.”