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Hunters Can Help Monitor the Spread of CWD

by Shanine Sealey

The Ministry of Environment is asking hunters to help monitor the spread and intensity of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in wild deer, elk, moose and caribou populations by submitting heads of harvested animals for disease testing, free of charge.

CWD is a fatal, infectious central nervous system disease that can affect deer, elk, caribou and moose.
First discovered in wild mule deer in 2000, the disease has now been confirmed in 44 of Saskatchewan’s 83 wildlife management zones and three of the four cervid species present in the province (deer, elk, moose). It has not yet been detected in caribou.

Hunters can help reduce the spread of CWD through the proper disposal of deer carcass waste. Avoid transporting a deer carcass from the area where it was taken, especially from areas where CWD has been detected. If a carcass is transported, hunters are asked to dispose of it by double-bagging it and taking it to a landfill.

Although no human case of CWD has ever been identified, hunters should not eat, or distribute for human consumption, the meat or other parts from animals that have not been tested or that are found to be CWD-positive.

Heads can be submitted for testing at a number of designated drop-off locations across the province throughout the hunting season.

For a list of drop-off sites and information on how to submit a sample for testing, hunters can visit the Saskatchewan CWD submission and tracking website at www.cwdsk.ca/.

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