Due to the regular amending of regulations in Saskatchewan, 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 Saskatchewan can be seen below:
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Chronic Wasting Disease has been set as a national priority for piloting a Wildlife Disease Action Plan by the Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers.
The Canadian Council of Wildlife Ministers recognize the growing danger wildlife diseases pose to wildlife, human health and the economy and have agreed to address the issue of chronic wasting disease by moving forward on developing an action plan for managing this disease and preventing its spread.
“Saskatchewan already has experience dealing with chronic wasting disease, which impacts our wild deer,” Environment Minister David Forbes said.
“Developing the action plan will focus national attention and hopefully lend the support of other agencies and provinces to the steps we in Saskatchewan are already taking to deal with the disease.”
This year Saskatchewan is moving away from testing animals from the entire province and is focusing on the areas where the disease has been found; reducing the deer population in the affected areas and looking to the future which will include sampling along the edges of the affected areas and continuous, intensive herd reduction.
“Wildlife does not recognize borders and any attempt to manage these issues must be dealt with in a co- ordinated manner,” Forbes said. “Governments recognize that all parts of the country are affected by invasive species and wildlife diseases and that they need to be dealt with on an urgent basis.”
The Invasive Alien Species Strategy for Canada establishes a comprehensive, co-ordinated and efficient approach to protecting Canada’s ecosystems, animals and plants. The Strategy is designed to address the threat invasive species pose to Canadian wildlife, forests, fisheries and other resource sectors.
Examples of invasive species include purple loosestrife, which is choking Canadian wetlands and the zebra mussel, which has had a significant economic impact on the Great Lakes. Both of these invaders are potential threats to water bodies in Saskatchewan.
The Ministers also reconfirmed their strong support for the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards and commended the Fur Institute of Canada for the progress in developing more humane trapping methods and systems to fulfill Canada’s treaty obligations.
“The fur industry is important in Saskatchewan and in Canada,” Forbes said.
“It provides employment for thousands of trappers, many of whom are aboriginal, who have been trained in safe, humane and effective trapping methods.”
The Canadian Council of Forestry Ministers reviewed progress on softwood lumber issues and the implementation with industry of a Canadian Forestry Innovation Council to stimulate and co-ordinate forestry research and development. The Ministers agreed to work together on a National Wildfire Management Strategy and to continue to strengthen sustainable forest management practices through a National Forestry Strategy.
Minister Forbes will host the Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers Meeting in Saskatoon next fall during the province’s Centennial.
What’s new for 2004?
Saskatchewan is stepping up its fight against Chronic Wasting Disease by doing three things.
The first is moving from testing the heads of whitetail and mule deer taken by hunters from all over the province to an intensive testing program focusing on the areas where the disease has been found.
The second is taking even more animals out of the areas where the disease has been found. Current science says the best way to stop the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease is through an intensive herd reduction program in the affected areas.
The third is planning for the future. That may include spot sampling around the province and intensive sampling along the edges of infected areas to try to determine if the disease is spreading. It will also include continuous, intensive, herd reduction in the affected areas.
More information can be found on this PDF file: http://www.se.gov.sk.ca/fishwild/CWD%202004%20Brochure%20-%20FINAL1.pdf
Saskatchewan is stepping up its fight against chronic wasting disease (CWD) with a three-pronged approach.
Beginning immediately, Saskatchewan Environment will implement the following actions:
“We know that chronic wasting disease is in the province and our tests have shown that it appears to be limited to three distinct areas on the western side of the province,” Environment Minister David Forbes said. “Our challenge now is finding ways to protect the rest of the province’s deer while using our budget dollars in the most effective way possible. The bottom line is that we have to try to stop the disease from spreading further.”
Saskatchewan Environment has established three Herd Reduction Areas; the South Saskatchewan River corridor near Swift Current, the Manitou Sand Hills and a portion of the Bronson Forest including an area northwest of St. Walburg.
For fall 2004 hunters will be offered free CWD control permits for use in the Herd Reduction Areas. While the control permits are valid for antlerless white-tailed and/or mule deer, once a hunter has killed two deer, he or she qualifies for a free either-sex control permit. Hunters may repeat the process as many times as they wish.
Control permits will be available on September 24th, and will be valid between October 1st and December 31st, except in the Manitou Sandhills and the Matador Pasture where grazing requirements have resulted in a November 1st start. Hunters are reminded that they must buy a 2004 Wildlife Habitat Certificate to validate their CWD control permits.
“We appreciate the vital role hunters and landowners play in combating chronic wasting disease,” Forbes said. “Hunters have helped with previous testing and herd reduction programs and landowners have allowed hunters access to their property. We appreciate their co-operation.”
Hunters who obtain free CWD control permits may submit head samples from animals harvested from the Herd Reduction Areas through designated collection points or Saskatchewan Environment offices. Only samples taken on a CWD control permit will be tested, free-of-charge, by Saskatchewan Environment.
Head samples from other areas of the province, including those taken on a draw licence or a regular licence in a Herd Reduction Area, are not required for the 2004 chronic wasting disease control program.
Hunters who harvest an animal from outside the Herd Reduction Areas or on a regular or draw licence and wish to have their samples tested for CWD should take their samples to Prairie Diagnostic Services in Saskatoon or Regina.
Hunters will be responsible for transporting their samples and for paying a $90 testing fee.
Since 1997, Saskatchewan Environment has found 34 cases of CWD in 16,400 samples. Current science indicates CWD is not transferable to humans or to traditional livestock.
REGINA – Chronic wasting disease appears to be spreading in the province’s wild deer population. Eighteen new cases have been found with roughly half of the tests for the year completed.
Saskatchewan Environment spokesperson Joe Warbeck is worried because they’ve found more cases this year than in all previous years of testing combined. His department has been testing for the disease in wild deer since 1997 and have found a total of 12 cases to the end of 2002.
This past year Saskatchewan hunters turned in about 4,700 heads from deer killed this fall and winter, about half of which have been tested. The only way to confirm CWD infections is by testing brain matter in dead animals.
With most of the new cases coming from deer killed near Swift Current, Warbeck says positive tests are nevertheless coming from a wider region, which suggests the disease is spreading.
“The question is: What are we going to do about it? My answer right now is: We don’t know what we are going to do about it because we don’t have all the results yet,” Warbeck said.
Warbeck says they’ll decide on a strategy to combat the disease when they get those results. Those are expected by the end of January.
The provincial government says CWD poses no risk to people, or traditional livestock.
A mule deer buck shot near Stewart Valley, Sask., has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.
Art Jones of Saskatchewan Environment said that makes four positive cases in wild mule deer, including three bucks and one doe taken near Saskatchewan Landing. There have been eight positive cases in wild deer since the late 1990s.
The latest case was from an animal shot last fall by a hunter, who submitted the head for testing.
A mid-winter hunt under way around the provincial park for white-tailed or mule deer concludes March 31. It was ordered by Saskatchewan Environment to reduce herd numbers and provide samples for CWD testing.