First case of chronic wasting disease discovered in Manitoba

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The Government of Manitoba announced Monday that the first chronic case of chronic waste disorder has been discovered in the province. (File Photo – Parks Canada)

“On Oct. 14, as part of the province’s wildlife health surveillance program, a male mule deer was observed to be unhealthy and was euthanized in western Manitoba, near Lake of the Prairies. Subsequent testing found the animal to have chronic wasting disease (CWD),” the Government of Manitoba said in a statement.

The statement further added that this is the first time this disease has been found in Manitoba. “Other animals in the area may also have CWD, so to ensure the disease is not spread through the transport of a diseased carcass, Manitoba will be immediately implementing a ban on hunting deer, moose, caribou and elk in the area.”

The boundaries of the area are currently being determined, but will initially include at least a portion of Game Hunting Area (GHA) 22.

CWD is an incurable fatal disease that affects members of the deer family, including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose and caribou. Animals infected with CWD may appear healthy until the later stages of the disease, and while CWD is not known as a human health risk, meat from a CWD infected animal is not recommended for consumption.

The Manitoba Government also added that hunters’ active in areas where CWD has been detected should have their harvested animal tested, in order to protect their health, practice safe carcass handling protocols and avoid consumption of any animal that has tested positive for CWD.

CWD has been known to infect animals in Saskatchewan, Alberta and 24 states. Manitoba has had very rigorous reporting and testing requirements for CWD, including making it illegal to bring certainunprocessed meat into Manitoba.

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