Officials ask hunters to look for chronic wasting disease in the Peace

A stock image of a deer infected with chronic wasting disease.

VICTORIA, B.C. – Provincial wildlife health authorities are asking local hunters to be on the lookout for deer, moose and elk with chronic wasting disease.

After an animal infected with chronic wasting disease was found 30 southeast of Edmonton, officials are concerned the disease could spread to the Peace region.  Biologists state this is the furthest west the deadly disease has been detected and intensifies concerns that infected deer could be making their way into British Columbia.

Chronic wasting disease affects the central nervous of cervids – members of the deer family – and is always fatal. The disease is
transmitted through infected saliva, urine, feces – even soil.

Wildlife health staff have yet to find an infected animal in B.C. but are stepping up monitoring efforts in the Peace and Kootenay regions where deer are most at-risk. Hunters in these regions can help by donating deer, elk and moose heads for analysis.

Anyone encountering a sick or dead deer should report it to B.C.’s wildlife health program.  To report a sick or dead deer, email wildlifehealth@gov.bc.ca.  For a list of drop-off locations to test animals for the disease can be found at www.stopchronicwastingdisease.ca