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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A test done in Saskatoon indicates there may be another case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a wild deer in Saskatchewan. The suspicious case was found in a two-year-old mule deer buck taken this fall southeast of Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park near Stewart Valley. Earlier this month the province’s fourth case of Chronic Wasting Disease was found in a mule deer taken in the northwest corner of Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park.
The suspicious sample was tested at the Canadian Co-operative Wildlife Health Centre in Saskatoon and has since been sent to a lab in Napean Ontario for confirmation. Results are expected within the next week. If confirmed, this will be the fifth case of CWD discovered in the province’s wild deer. The three positive cases found before this fall had all been taken in the Manito Sandhills near Lloydminster.
If confirmed, the Herd Reduction Area currently in effect near Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park will be expanded to include the area around where the animal was found. Revised maps will be made available to people hunting in the area. Over the past four years Saskatchewan Environment has tested approximately 5,500 samples from across the province. This fall, Saskatchewan Environment is asking hunters from across the province to turn in the heads of animals they take for testing for CWD.
Current science indicates that CWD cannot be transferred to humans or to domestic livestock.
REGINA — The provincial Environment Department is asking for the public’s help to control the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in wild mule deer.
Four cases of the disease have been confirmed in the province since fall 2000, with three being found in the Manito Sand Hills south of Lloydminster, and one at Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park, north of Swift Current, just last week.
Hunters are being asked to turn in deer heads for testing to determine what areas have been affected.
“We have it in two locations and we’re going to look elsewhere. . . . I’m optimistic that it’s not elsewhere but I guess we’ll have to wait and see,” said Kevin Omoth, provincial chronic wasting disease manager with the Environment Department.
“One of the frustrations with chronic wasting disease is the exact means of transmission is not known, but we are aware that it is contagious, they can pass it from animal to animal.”
There is no vaccine and the only way to test for the disease is to test the brain after the deer is dead.
Omoth said a lot of research has been done on the disease and health officials have not found any risk to humans.
“All the current science indicates that there’s no known risk to humans from this,” said Omoth.
“It’s primarily a disease of wild deer and so we operate on that premise. We maintain close contact with national and international health authorities and experts in the area.”
The department is issuing free control permits in the two herd reduction areas in an effort to remove more animals that may be affected, with head submission being mandatory.
Landowners can do their part by allowing hunters on their land, and the general public is encouraged to report any deer that may be sick.
Saskatchewan has its fourth confirmed case of chronic wasting disease in the wild deer population, but this one is different from the previous three.
“It showed up in an area outside of what we thought was the containment area,” said Kevin Callele, manager of resource allocation with Saskatchewan Environment’s fish and wildlife branch.
Until now the positive cases had been found in the Manito Sandhills area near Lloydminster. The latest positive sample was discovered in a two-year-old mule deer buck shot this fall near Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park, north of Swift Current. That is about 450 kilometres southeast of the previous infection area.
“This is a bit of a surprise to us — not that there is another animal, but the location certainly is the biggest surprise,” Callele said.
The government will be launching a “herd reduction and surveillance” program similar to what is employed in the Lloydminster area.
“We do an intensive reduction of the deer herd in a six-kilometre radius around the infected area,” he said.
They will be taking a large number of brain samples from wild animals that are harvested by hunters around Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park.
Callele said there is significant public concern about what effect the disease could have on the province’s big game industry, exotic livestock industry and on people who eat wild meat. But science indicates that CWD poses no known risk to humans or domestic livestock.
The disease is not limited to wild animals. CWD has also been found in the province’s game-farmed elk herds. But there is quite a difference between the two populations.
“You probably have a greater chance of containing the spread of chronic wasting disease in game-farmed animals than you do in the wild,” Callele said.
“The wild herd is considerably larger and more transient.”
Over the past four years Saskatchewan Environment has tested 5,500 samples from across the province and Callele expects hunters to provide another 3,000-4,000 cervid heads to be analyzed this winter.
Hunting season has started and heads should be rolling in until the end of December. Callele encourages hunters to keep the heads frozen until they drop them off at check stations or department offices.
He hopes to have the fall samples analyzed by the end of January or early February. There have been no positive tests on wild elk or wild white-tailed deer populations.
Manitoba- Chronic wasting disease, a fatal neurological disorder similar to mad cow disease, has been found in a wild deer in an area previously thought free of it, officials in the Canadian Prairie province of Saskatchewan said on Thursday.
Since 1990, three cases of the disease had been found in wild mule deer clustered in the west-central part of the province.
But the new case, a 2-year-old buck shot by a hunter this fall, was about 255 kilometers (160 miles) away, raising concerns the disease has spread.
“We’re disappointed,” said Kevin Omoth, who monitors the disease for the Saskatchewan government.
“We were becoming guardedly optimistic that it was existing only in that area of the (province),” he said.
The government will reduce deer herds by allowing more hunting, and step up testing efforts, Omoth said.
The brain-wasting illness belongs to the same family of diseases as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, more commonly known as mad cow disease. A deadly human version of BSE, new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, killed dozens of people in Britain after they ate BSE-tainted beef.
In August, a Saskatchewan man died of the disease. Health officials believe he consumed tainted beef during visits to the Britain in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Health officials say chronic wasting disease in deer poses no known risk to humans or domestic livestock, Omoth said.
“But you’ll never find a scientist who says there’s (categorically) no risk, and that’s what makes people uncomfortable,” he said.
The provincial government has tested about 5,500 mule deer for the disease during the past four years. Hunters submit deer heads, since there is no live test for the illness.
The disease has not been found in wild animals in other provinces, Omoth said, nor in other species of wild animals in Canada, although it is present in the wild in the United States.
The disease has decimated the domestic elk farming industry since it was first detected on a ranch in 1996. More than 7,500 animals have been destroyed.
Elk are raised for meat and antler velvet, which is used in homeopathic remedies and as aphrodisiacs, especially in Asia. Markets for elk meat and velvet have evaporated since the disease outbreak.
Scientists do not know what causes the disease or how it spreads. Omoth said
Some scientists think the disease has always existed at low levels in the wild, but been undetected until recently, Omoth said.
Others believe it spread from game farms, although Omoth said there is no evidence to support that theory.
Saskatchewan Environment has received confirmation of another case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in wild deer.
The latest positive sample was found in a two-year-old mule deer buck taken this fall near Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park, north of Swift Current.
The sample was tested at the Canadian Co-operative Wildlife Health Centre in Saskatoon and was sent to an Ontario laboratory for confirmation.
This is the fourth case of CWD discovered in the province’s wild deer. Up to this point, all of the positive cases had been found in the Manito Sandhills near Lloydminster.
Over the past four years Saskatchewan Environment has tested approximately 5,500 samples from across the province.
Current science indicates that CWD poses no known risk to humans or to domestic livestock.
This fall, Saskatchewan Environment is again asking hunters from across the province to turn in the heads of animals they take for testing for CWD.