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New restrictions for region affected by chronic wasting disease: update

CANADA, February 13 - The Province has implemented mandatory chronic-wasting disease testing, as well as restrictions on the transport and disposal of any road-killed cervids (deer, moose, elk, caribou) in the area where the first cases of the disease were found in B.C. in two deer samples in January 2024.

The restrictions apply within the Initial Response Area, defined as Management Units 4-2, 4-3, 4-4, 4-5, and a portion of 4-22. This is south of and including Highway 3, which is situated between south of Cranbrook toward the United States border, west to the Moyie Range, and east to the Macdonald Range.

A map of the area can be seen here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/download/BC6A03B19BD24BD8A30580912A66C4E0

Chronic wasting disease is an infectious and fatal disease affecting species in the cervid family, such as deer, elk, moose, and caribou.

The public is encouraged to report any sightings of deer, elk, moose or caribou exhibiting any of these symptoms: weight loss, drooling, poor co-ordination, stumbling, generally sick with no obvious reason, to the 24/7 Report All Poachers and Polluters Line (1 877 952-7277).

There is no direct evidence that the disease can be transmitted to humans and there have been no cases of the disease in humans. However, to prevent any potential risk of transmission or illness, Health Canada and the World Health Organization recommend people not eat meat or other parts of an animal infected with chronic wasting disease.

In response to the disease being detected in neighbouring jurisdictions, the Province had established a surveillance and response plan for chronic wasting disease to ensure government was prepared in the event a case was detected in B.C. and lessen the risk of the disease spreading here.

In accordance with the surveillance and response plan, the provincial wildlife veterinarian is leading the response with support and input from the chronic wasting disease advisory committee and regional working groups, which include First Nations, stakeholders, experts on chronic wasting disease and other partners.

Learn More:

For more information, visit the B.C. chronic wasting disease website: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/plants-animals-ecosystems/wildlife/wildlife-conservation/wildlife-health/chronic-wasting-disease