SASKATOON – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed that an elk from a farm in the Battlefords area had Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
Agency spokesperson Sandra Stevens says three farms are now under a quarantine order.
“We want to make sure we have all the animals that would have had any exposure to that animal that has tested positive, so we’ll start with that to identify all possible contacts,” says Stevens.
“Based on that, we’ll decide which animals we will destroy and test.”
The quarantine order marks 44 Saskatchewan elk farms that have been affected by CWD.
More than 1,000 animals have been destroyed since the disease was discovered in Saskatchewan eight years ago, and it devastated the industry.
But Blaine Weber of the Saskatchewan Elk Breeders Association says this recent discovery is actually good news because is shows the surveillance system is working.
Weber says the Canadian system of examining every animal slaughtered for CWD has made elk meat one of the safest meats. He says the controls have allowed producers to resume exporting elk antler velvet, and that has helped their industry survive.