Due to the regular amending of regulations in Manitoba, 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 Manitoba can be seen below:
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The discovery of chronic wasting disease in Saskatchewan deer about 100 kilometres from the Manitoba border has led to new testing requirements for hunters from The Pas to Swan River.
Manitoba’s Conservation Department wants the head and neck of any harvested deer to be dropped off at a depot so that testing can be done to see whether the brain disease is present.
“We’ve instituted a regulation where hunters are required to submit samples for testing,” Rich Davis, a wildlife biologist with the Conservation Department, told CBC News on Friday. “I’d just like to assure any hunters that we will test the animal and get back to them as soon as possible if the animal is positive.”
Davis said that there is no evidence that the disease can be transmitted to humans.
An information brochure from the Conservation Department says it is safe to eat meat from deer and elk in Manitoba. However, the document also cites a recommendation from the World Health Organization that meat from infected animals should not be consumed.
Davis said that Manitoba has been testing deer since 1997, with some 2,000 samples analyzed from animals harvested in the southern parts of the province. He said the disease has not been detected.
In some cases a sick animal will show symptoms of the disease, Davis noted.
“It’ll be very thin. It’ll drool a lot,” he said. “It’ll look very unhealthy. It has a hard time lifting its head up.”
The area under increased surveillance spans some 230 kilometres between the western Manitoba communities of The Pas and Swan River.
More than a dozen locations in Manitoba are designated as depots for dropping off the required animal parts for testing.
Hoping to slow the spread of bovine tuberculosis and chronic wasting disease (CWD), Manitoba Conservation has broadened its existing bans on baiting cervids (deer, elk, moose, caribou) for the purpose of hunting. It’s already illegal to bait cervids for hunting, and to hunt near crops left in fields to lure cervids. Starting this fall, a hunter can be charged for placing cervid bait or hunting anywhere within 0.8 km of a cervid bait. Conservation officers can issue orders to remove or fence farm produce being used for baiting, or post the area as a no-hunting zone. Another new regulation bans possession of any product that contains the urine, feces, saliva or scent glands of a cervid. The province says these attractants are mostly made in areas where wild or farmed cervids have tested positive for CWD, and could thus spread the disease (CWD is the cervid relative of mad cow disease, scrapie and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease). The province has also banned the import of any cervid killed in any other province, territory or country without first removing the head, hide, hooves, mammary glands, entrails, internal organs and spinal column. Antlers and their connecting bone plate are allowed if the plate is disinfected and all other hide and tissue removed. Capes can be imported but must be immediately chemically processed into a tanned product. Lastly, the province has banned the use of cervid feed or attractants for hunting or any other purpose in game hunting areas 23 and 23A. These surround the south and north sides of Riding Mountain National Park, a known reservoir of bovine TB in wild cervids, blamed for spreading the disease to local cattle. The province says TB and other diseases spread more easily where cervids gather, like at feeding sites. The province recently doubled the elk harvest in those 2 game areas.