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Thread: CWD officially in BC

  1. #1
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    CWD officially in BC

    Chronic Wasting Disease detected in B.C. deer for the first time

    The B.C. Wildlife Branch reports that cases of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) have been confirmed in two deer in the Kootenay region, south of Cranbrook.
    These are the first known cases of CWD in British Columbia.
    “We have been watching CWD spread province to province, state to state for at least 20 years, so this is terrible news for British Columbians,” said Jesse Zeman, Executive Director of the B.C. Wildlife Federation. “CWD is devastating to cervid populations. Continued vigilance and testing are key to organizing preventative measures.”
    Chronic Wasting Disease affects cervids, including deer, moose, elk, and caribou. Officials have been watching closely in the high-risk wildlife management areas of southeastern British Columbia adjacent to existing outbreaks in Alberta, Montana and Idaho.
    The disease is 100 per cent fatal, with no known treatment. It is not known to affect humans or livestock.
    CWD can leap into other regions unexpectedly, through the transport of carcasses, contaminated hay, or even urine-based scents.
    CWD is a disease of the central nervous system, caused by infectious agents called prions. As the prions accumulate, they cause cell death in the brain and neurological disease, which is 100-per-cent fatal. Prions also accumulate in other tissues and may be shed by the infected animal into water or on plants and bedding through saliva, urine and feces.
    The first positive sample was taken from a male mule deer, from an animal that appeared to be in good condition. However, a sample sent to the B.C. CWD Program by the hunter came back positive for this devastating illness.
    The second sample was from a road killed animal, a female white-tailed deer and was submitted to the B.C. CWD Program for testing. The diagnosis was confirmed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency reference laboratory on January 31, 2024.
    Hunters are encouraged to provide samples for CWD testing after harvesting a deer anywhere in B.C., hunters can submit the head of the animal for testing.
    In accordance with the Surveillance and Response Plan for CWD in B.C., the Provincial Wildlife Veterinarian is leading response management, according to the provincial government. Support and input will be requested from the CWD Advisory Committee and Regional Working Groups in the coming days, it said.
    “We have failed our wildlife populations once again by underfunding the resources needed to manage them for the past 50 years,” said Steve Hamilton, BCWF Advocacy coordinator. “Politicians should take this as a reminder that their actions and policies matter and we will be calling for much, much better for our wildlife in the upcoming elections.”



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  3. #2
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  4. #3
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    Re: CWD officially in BC

    It is not known to affect humans or livestock.

  5. #4
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    Re: CWD officially in BC

    Well I am sad to hear this, but I knew it was just a matter of time before it showed up in our province. Now that we know it is here, the big thing to watch will be how the provincial government responds to the news and what the ministry plans to do to address it. In most jurisdictions it has resulted in a significant, sometimes even draconian increase in the deer harvest in affected areas and increased monitoring in adjacent management units.

    I guess we will just have to wait and see...
    Last edited by Retiredguy; 02-01-2024 at 04:24 PM.
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  6. #5
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    Re: CWD officially in BC

    Quote Originally Posted by HappyJack View Post
    It is not known to affect humans or livestock.
    BUT,
    While the disease is not known to spread to humans or livestock, the BC Centre for Disease Control says “people are advised to take precautions because the potential for transmission cannot be excluded," and eating the meat from infected animals is not recommended.

    So I guess, if one harvests a healthy looking animal the head should be submitted for testing and then wait for the results before consuming the meat? I wonder if a contaminated carcass could spread the disease to other ones in the meat cutting facility?

  7. #6
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    Re: CWD officially in BC

    hmmmm going to cost billions to compensate indiuns for loss of their sacred traditional food source....
    s

  8. #7
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    Re: CWD officially in BC

    It has been here in Alberta for quite a few years now.
    I have had friends come out that I hunter hosted and had their animals test positive.
    So far I have only had one test positive over the years partially, I believe, because I tend to harvest younger animals for the meat as opposed to specifically looking for trophy quality.
    I spoke with a Provincial Wildlife Biologist a few years back and she told me that it tends to target older class males and initially was more prevalent in Mule deer than whitetail.
    When a deer is diagnosed it means it will be dead within two years and the last 6 months are apparently excruciatingly painful and debilitating
    All that being said it is now showing up in elk and moose populations in Alberta as well.
    The area I hunt has seen about a 85 % drop in Mule deer numbers due to not only the disease but also the policy of the government to try and eradicate the problem by over harvest quotas.
    I usually get 4 or 5 tags a year through general and lottery draw but usually only take 2 or 3 animals and with what I will accept as my animal of choice have been relatively successful in beating the odds of testing positive.

    Apparently not transferable to humans and they say if you don't eat the spinal cord or brain matter it is safer, but in a study done with rhesus monkeys it was proven to transfer to them.
    It shows up in the lymph system of the animal as well so therefore in my view it is in the blood stream and ergo in the meat.
    The prions live in the soil and that is why it so hard to eradicate.
    It is also said to be transferred by body fluids ( urine, feces, and saliva) and that is why they recommend not having feeding or bait stations for deer as it can also be transferred that way.
    My question is if it is in the soil why don't the cattle that are grazing in the same pastures get it?
    Why don't the wolves, coyote, bears, birds get it when they feed on a carcass ?
    I have seen countless deer harvested that looked and acted normal in every way possible get tested positive
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  9. #8
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    Re: CWD officially in BC

    going just on memory here but isnt BSE the equivilent in cows?...i will have to check googs..googs agrees and it is called scrapie in sheep and CJD in humans
    Last edited by wideopenthrottle; 02-01-2024 at 04:03 PM.

  10. #9
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    Re: CWD officially in BC

    Well that is sad news... it was only a matter of time..

  11. #10
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    Re: CWD officially in BC

    Like anything invasive, its just a matter of when
    Nothing management does will reduce the risk of cwd spreading once it is in the environment
    Happy Hunting folks
    Glad to say I have hunted Northern BC

    Simon Fraser had pretty good judgement on what he found in BC

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