Chronic wasting disease of cervids – First case detected in Quebec

Quebec City, September 14, 2018 –  Following the discovery of a case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a farm-raised deer in the Laurentides region, Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP) has announced that it will implement measures to protect wildlife, calling on hunters to cooperate in the effort.

Although the disease was discovered on a farm, the risks to wildlife are significant. Preventive actions based on best practices that have proven successful in similar situations are currently being implemented. These best practices call for targeted steps to be taken to eradicate the disease. In the interests of safety, the Ministry is considering a hunting ban near the site on portions of hunting zones 9 West and 10 East.

Current regulations prohibit the movement of deer in captivity within 100 km of a site where the presence of CWD has been detected. When an animal is harvested in hunting zones in the vicinity of the affected site, the transport of certain anatomical parts outside that zone is also prohibited.

CWD is a progressive and fatal degenerative disease of the nervous system of cervids (members of the deer family), including white-tailed deer and moose, the main species hunted in Quebec. CWD is not considered transmissible to humans, but consumption or use of tissue from an infected animal is not recommended.

Quebec is actively involved in fighting this disease. Since 2007 MFFP has worked with butcher shops in a number of regions of Quebec to monitor and test cervids in the wild to detect the disease. None of the 9,500 animals tested so far has been found to be contaminated.

The Ministry asks that the public and hunters consult the MFFP website for the latest information. They are also asked to contact SOS Braconnage to report any sightings of animals showing signs associated with the disease.

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