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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With mule deer hunting now in season, the B.C. Wildlife Health Office is reminding hunters to provide samples of deer they hunt to test for Chronic Wasting Disease.

Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal infection that affects species in the deer family and is caused by an abnormal protein called a prion, which can be transmitted through saliva, urine, feces, carcasses, and even plants and soil.

An infected animal may be contagious for months or years before appearing sick. Signs of infection in deer include weight loss, poor coordination, stumbling, and trembling.

While there have been no confirmed cases of the disease in B.C., the Wildlife Health Office says it is important to submit deer samples to ensure the province can stay free of the disease.

Within the Peace Region, submissions of samples are not mandatory but are suggested to help with the tracking of the disease.

The mule deer season runs until November 30, and samples must be submitted by December 20.

Further information on how to submit a sample can be found on the Province’s website.

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