The Ministry of Environment in Saskatchewan is calling on hunters to submit samples of deer, moose, and elk for testing for chronic wasting disease (CWD) and bovine tuberculosis. The focus of testing is on specific wildlife management zones, as CWD has been detected in 60 out of the 83 zones in the province.
Environment Minister Christine Tell expressed the increasing prevalence of CWD in the province, stating that “we have seen the spread and prevalence of chronic wasting disease increase in the province.” The ministry heavily relies on hunters’ support in submitting samples for testing, allowing them to measure and manage the disease effectively.
The request for wildlife testing for bovine tuberculosis is in response to the detection of the disease in cattle earlier this year. While bovine TB has been found in a cattle herd in east central Saskatchewan, it has never been detected in wildlife in the province. The ministry aims to monitor and prevent the spread of the disease to wildlife populations.
Chronic wasting disease is a fatal infectious central nervous system disease that affects cervids such as deer, moose, and elk. There is currently no known cure for CWD, and high infection rates can severely impact populations. Bovine tuberculosis, on the other hand, is a contagious bacterial infection that primarily affects the respiratory system of animals, causing chronic debilitation and weight loss. Although there is a rare possibility of transmission from animals to humans, it is extremely uncommon.
Hunters are encouraged to sign up for testing through the CWD online tracking system website. By participating in the testing initiative, hunters play a crucial role in keeping wildlife populations and human health protected from these diseases.
– Ministry of Environment, Saskatchewan
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