Notice to Members Regarding Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)
Posted on: May 31, 2017
To: MNA Members
From: Métis Nation of Alberta
Date: Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) was made aware of a recent Canadian research study examining the transmission of Chronic Wasting Disease. The initial results of the study indicate that macaque monkeys (genetically similar to humans) can be infected with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) after eating deer that is infected with CWD. CWD is a prion disease, which are fatal, transmissible diseases characterized by abnormal proteins in the brain and nervous system. To date no research has shown that CWD can be passed on to humans, and no human cases of CWD have ever been identified. However, this new research indicates that it is a possibility. The Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health has reached out to us to share with our Métis harvesters this important information.
For more information you can visit:
What the Alberta Government knows:
- CWD is present in southeastern Alberta, with the area slowly spreading westward over time (introduced into Alberta from Saskatchewan) – see map for more information at http://aep.alberta.ca/fish-wildlife/fishing-hunting-trapping/hunting-alberta/documents/HuntersCWD-HarvestedDeerHeads-2016.pdf
- CWD circulates in deer populations, particularly mule deer; it has been found in about 4% of deer tested in 2016;
- Elk can be infected in areas where CWD has been present in deer for a long period of time;
- Moose can also be infected, but this would be fairly rare.
Necessary Precautions for Harvesters:
- Hunters and others who handle carcasses follow basic handling precautions (available here http://aep.alberta.ca/fish-wildlife/fishing-hunting-trapping/hunting-alberta/documents/CWDGuidelines-DeerCarcassTransportationHandling-Oct2009.pdf
- All deer, moose and elk harvested from CWD mandatory submission wildlife management units (WMUs) be tested for CWD; and
- A negative result (no CWD detected by the test) must be obtained before any part of an animal is eaten.
For more information, contact:
Métis Nation of Alberta
Métis Harvesting Liaison
Tel: (780) 455 – 2200