B.C. wary of deadly deer disease in Alberta

Chronic wasting disease is similar to mad cow disease but infects and kills deer, elk and moose

Known infections of chronic wasting disease in deer and other wildlife as of 2014.

Provincial wildlife officials are concerned that a disease killing deer and elk on the prairies could soon spread into B.C.

Chronic wasting disease, a degenerative nervous system condition similar to so-called mad cow disease, has been discovered in an animal 30 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.

That’s the furthest west – by about 100 kilometres – that biologists have detected the deadly disease and the discovery intensifies concerns that infected deer may make their way to B.C.

No infected animals have been found yet in B.C. but wildlife health staff are stepping up monitoring efforts in the Peace and Kootenay regions, where deer are most at-risk.

Hunters are being asked to help by donating deer, elk and moose heads for analysis. Drop-off locations are listed at www.stopchronicwastingdisease.ca.

Anyone who encounters a sick or dead deer is urged to report it to B.C.’s wildlife health program by emailing wildlifehealth@gov.bc.ca.

Although chronic wasting disease is similar to bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Alberta’s agriculture and forestry ministry says there’s no evidence it can infect humans, but notes the World Health Organization advises against allowing any meat source possibly infected by prions into the human food system.

It’s thought to be unlikely that the disease could spread to domestic cattle or bison.

Outbreaks on game farms typically result in quarantines and culls.

Transmission is through saliva, urine and feces and is thought to be more likely to occur where elk and deer are crowded or congregate at man-made feed and water stations, according to the Alberta ministry.

Most of the Canadian cases have been in Saskatchewan.

Just Posted

Nine fires burning in West Kootenay

All fires considered to be lightning caused.

PHOTOS: Castlegar swimmers at Trail meet

Castlegar swimmers took part in the Greater Trail Stingrays meet last weekend.

PLACE NAMES: Rossland neighbourhoods, Part 1

Early Rossland townsite built on top of mining claims

Castlegar mayor releases FCM itinerary

Bruno Tassone delivers promised report on activities at Quebec City municipal conference

Castlegar watering restrictions start this week

No watering or car washing allowed between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

Most Read