News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

August 26, 2022

MANITOBA GOVERNMENT INVESTS ADDITIONAL $350,000 TO HELP PREVENT SPREAD OF CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE



The Manitoba government is investing an additional $350,000 to help prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) through year-round monitoring and enhanced sampling efforts during the upcoming big game hunting seasons, Natural Resources and Northern Development Minister Greg Nesbitt announced today.

“CWD can have significant negative impacts on deer family populations, so immediately following initial detection of CWD, we took management actions to help address the situation, but additional, longer-term measures are now needed,” said Nesbitt. “In addition to enhanced management actions, we are making additional investments to help prevent the spread of CWD in Manitoba.”

CWD is an incurable, fatal disease that affects members of the deer family (cervids) including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose and caribou. Animals infected with CWD may appear healthy until the later stages of the disease.

First detected in Manitoba in 2021, CWD has been confirmed in five mule deer along the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border. If the disease spreads and becomes endemic to Manitoba, there is a serious risk that CWD will threaten the health of all cervid populations in Manitoba.

To assist in monitoring for CWD, the province has expanded the harvested cervid mandatory biological sample submission zone. All licensed hunters in the expanded mandatory sample submission area will be required to provide head and upper neck samples of harvested white-tailed deer, mule deer, and elk for CWD testing. These samples, which can be submitted with the antlers removed, will allow the province to identify infected animals and determine any spread of the disease within the province.

The $350,000 investment will enhance sampling efforts by establishing additional sample drop-off locations and reducing turnaround times for testing of samples submitted by hunters, the minister noted.

A map of the expanded mandatory biological sample submission zone is available at: www.gov.mb.ca/nrnd/fish-wildlife/pubs/fish_wildlife/expanded_mandatory_surveillance_zone2022.pdf.

A list of sample drop-off locations is posted here: www.gov.mb.ca/nrnd/fish-wildlife/pubs/fish_wildlife/sample-drop-off-depots.pdf.

CWD is not known as a human health risk but meat from a CWD-infected animal is not recommended for consumption. Hunters who are active in areas where CWD is a concern should have their harvested animal tested, practise safe carcass-handling protocols and avoid consumption of any animal that has tested positive for CWD. Samples results from harvested animals will be posted on the province’s website www.gov.mb.ca/nrnd/fish-wildlife/wildlife/cwd-results/cwd-results.html as they become available.

Hunters with concerns or questions about an animal that has been harvested can contact the province by email at CWD@gov.mb.ca or by calling toll-free 1-800-214-6497.

For more information, visit www.manitoba.ca/cwd.

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