Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Theresa Seraphim
Vermilion Standard
Tuesday December 19, 2006

The discovery of two cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Alberta underlines the importance of hunters submitting deer heads for testing, says an official with Alberta Fish and Wildlife.

“One of them is in the area we were working last year,” which is north of Medicine Hat, noted information officer Lyle Fullerton. The other case was found in an area north and west of Edgerton. “That’s a new case,” Fullerton stated, adding it marks the first time the disease has been discovered in a northern region.

“In all likelihood it’s an animal that got through the surveillance (of earlier years) and was shot by a hunter,” he stated.

While submission of deer heads is mandatory in some hunting areas and voluntary in others, it’s important that all hunters bring in the heads of deer they kill so they can be tested, said Fullerton.

“We’re certainly pleased with the support of hunters but we encourage them to get their heads in.”

So far, about 2,000 heads have been submitted.

“We’re about halfway through the testing,” said Fullerton. He said no positive results have ever been found in the Vermilion area.

Symptoms of CWD include excess saliva, weight loss and lack of co-ordination, but the disease is too far gone by the time the animal displays these signs, Fullerton noted.
He said the potential exists for more positive results.

Hunters can take the heads to any Fish and Wildlife office or to a 24-hour freezer, said Fullerton.

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