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.

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