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

Terrace to Hazelton bus service launched

First trip of BC Transit’s latest inter-community route set for Nov. 20

Marleau and Sikkes chosen as HBMR Legendary Locals

Hudson Bay Mountain Resort has double the legends this season with a pair of 83-year-old skiers.

UPDATE: Highway 16 is open with delays due to avalanche control

DriveBC has opened the highway between Prince Rupert and Terrace but expect delays

The Smithers Airshow Society has flown the coop

Insurance rates, lack of volunteers grounded future airshows in Smithers but search & rescue benefits.

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

‘An officer and a gentleman’: Const. John Davidson is laid to rest

Thousands attend memorial service for slain Abbotsford Police officer

VIDEO: Coquihalla closed both directions near Merritt

Detours are available via Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 1

VIDEO: The Last Jedi is going to be the longest ‘Star Wars’ movie yet

Newest movie in the franchise will beat Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week.

PHOTOS: Procession and funeral for Const. John Davidson

Thousands attended celebration of life for Abbotsford police officer

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates debate different paths for party

Third debate held Sunday, Nov. 19 at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre

LIVE: BC Liberals kick off leadership debate in Nanaimo

Candidates’ forum is at noon at Vancouver Island Conference Centre

WATCH: Thousands gathering in Abbotsford for Const. John Davidson funeral procession

Celebration of life to follow at Abbotsford Centre at 1 p.m.

Most Read