The B.C. government is asking hunters to once again submit the heads of white-tail and mule deer for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing now that hunting season has begun. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)

Province of B.C. once again testing for Chronic Wasting Disease

Mandatory submission is required in some Kootenay management units

The B.C. government is asking hunters to once again submit the heads of white-tail and mule deer for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing now that hunting season has begun.

A general order under the Animal Health Act requires that any white-tailed deer or mule deer harvested between September 1st and December 20th 2020 in management units 4-1, 4-2, 4-3, 4-4, 4-5, 4-6, and 4-7 be submitted to the B.C. CWD program for testing.

These management units cover the southern portion of the Kootenay region, spanning from the Flathead region to Nelson.

All other species (Elk and Moose) and deer species harvested outside of the mandatory zone can be submitted on a volunteer basis. Submission is highly encouraged to increase the sample size within the province.

According to the B.C. government website, CWD is a fatal infection that affects species in the deer family such as mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, moose and caribou. The disease is caused by an abnormal protein called prion, which can be transmitted through saliva, urine, feces, carcasses and even plants. An infected animal my be contagious for months or years before appearing sick.

READ MORE: Moose tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in northwest Montana

READ MORE: Province implements mandatory sampling program to prevent deadly deer disease

Signs of infection in deer include weight loss, poor coordination, stumbling and trembling. Symptoms can take over a year after infection to show.

According to the BC Center for Disease Control, there is no evidence that CWD can be transmitted to humans, however public health experts recommend that any animal suspected or confirmed to have CWD should not be eaten as a precaution.

CWD has not yet been detected in B.C. but it has continued to spread in almost all affected jurisdictions despite mitigation and management efforts.

In June of last year, CWD was found in a white-tailed deer in Libby, Montana which is close to the B.C. border. A moose in northwest Montana also tested positive for CWD in November of 2019. CWD has been found in Alberta as well.

There are many places where hunters can submit the heads of their deer for testing. In Cranbrook and Kimberley, drop-off locations include Gwinner’s Country Butcher, Kimberley Sausage and Meats, and Rick’s Fine Meat and Sausage. In addition, heads can also be dropped off at any B.C. Wildlife or Conservation Officer Service location during business hours.

There are several conditions to be met before heads can be dropped off. A full list of conditions, drop-off locations and more information about CWD can be found on the B.C. government website.



corey.bullock@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RDCK reduces number of properties under evacuation alert from Talbott Creek Fire to 46

Improved visibility has allowed helicopters to resume water suppression efforts on fire

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Kootenay teachers’ union going to labour relations board over COVID-19 related work conditions

Union issues open letter to premier, education minister, health minister and Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Two men killed in Hwy 3 collision west of Castlegar

The single-vehicle incident happened Thursday morning

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

16 COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health region

One person is in hospital and 34 people are isolating

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Missing Lardeau man not found, underwater search called off

Thomas Schreiber was last seen on Sept. 15

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

Most Read