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Province takes steps to curb spread of fatal disease found in B.C. deer, moose

A mule deer is shown in a file photo from A mule deer is shown in a file photo from
Victoria -

The B.C. government is taking steps to curb the spread of a disease that's deadly for deer, elk, moose and caribou after the discovery of the province's first cases last month.

A statement from the Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship says the government has introduced mandatory testing for chronic-wasting disease in the area where those cases were detected in samples from two deer.

B.C. is also restricting the transport and disposal of any deer or similar animals in the area stretching south from Cranbrook to the Canada-U.S. border and spanning a portion of the southeast corner of the province.

The ministry is asking anyone who sees an animal in the deer-family exhibiting signs such as weight loss, stumbling or general sickness to report the sighting.

The statement says there is no direct evidence that the disease can be transmitted to humans, but to prevent any potential risk of illness, Health Canada recommends that people do not consume the meat of an infected animal.

The province's surveillance and response plan for chronic-wasting disease was finalized last summer, and says the diagnosis of a case in the province “has the potential for far-reaching conservation, social and economic impacts.”

The ministry's statement issued Tuesday says B.C.'s wildlife veterinarian is leading the response to the detection of the cases with support from an advisory committee and regional working groups that include First Nations representatives, experts on chronic-wasting disease and other stakeholders.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 13, 2024. Top Stories

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