B.C. Conservation Officer Service says a deer hunted in an area known for chronic wasting disease and brought back to Nanaimo did not have the disease.
“Good news! The test for chronic wasting disease regarding the mule deer harvested in Alberta and brought to Nanaimo came back negative,” noted the conservation officer service in a social media post Wednesday. “The BCCOS and [Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development] would again like to thank the public for their assistance in this case.”
Conservation officers advised Nov. 21 that they were “urgently” asking for information on the case of a hunting party from Nanaimo that may have harvested a mule deer south of Calgary and brought the carcass back to Vancouver Island.
“The concern is that the hunt took place in an area known for CWD, which can be devastating for wildlife populations,” the post noted. “Although its presence has yet to be detected in B.C., human importation of infected carcasses is the highest threat of introduction to B.C. wildlife.”
The province has been monitoring for the disease since 2002, noted the Nov. 21 post, with no cases found in B.C.
The forest and lands ministry released an information bulletin earlier this fall after Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks discovered nine animals with chronic wasting disease south of the B.C. border.
The information bulletin notes that CWD is a progressive, fatal nervous-system disease affecting mule deer, white-tailed deer, moose and elk. It can spread when a healthy animal comes in contact with an infected animal or a contaminated environment. Animals with CWD may exhibit symptoms such as thinness, drooling and stumbling.
For more information, visit www.gov.bc.ca/chronicwastingdisease.ca.