Québec, September 14, 2018 – On September 10, a case of chronic debilitating disease (CWD) of cervids was confirmed in the Laurentides region. This is the first case in Quebec. The Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ) is working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks (MFFP) to determine the possible source of contamination and to prevent the spread of the disease. Measures are currently being taken in Quebec to control any risk associated with the MOC. In addition, the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) supports the authorities in the approaches related to public health.
MAPAQ has identified this case as part of the Monitoring Program for MDC in slaughterhouses under inspection. The infected animal was sentenced and its meat was not introduced into the food chain. An investigation is underway at the animal’s original farm. It has been quarantined. The MFFP organizes the analysis of wild cervids around the affected farm and will ask the collaboration of the population and hunters to prevent any spread of the disease among wildlife.
MDC is a disease of the nervous system that can affect deer such as white-tailed deer, moose, elk and red deer. It is caused by abnormal proteins called prions. Unlike bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), which is also a prion disease, MDC is not considered a human-transmissible disease. However, as a precaution, it is not recommended to consume or use the tissues of an affected animal.