A case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been identified for the first time in a Saskatchewan wildlife management zone near Melfort.
The disease is now confirmed in 45 of 83 zones in the province, according to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment. CWD is a fatal nervous system disease that threatens deer, elk, moose and caribou.
Officials said Wednesday the new case involved a three-year-old elk bull in zone 42E, south of Melfort.
The new case was submitted as part of the voluntary CWD surveillance program.
“The information obtained from the voluntary testing program is critical to evaluating the spread of CWD and guiding our management strategies,” wildlife health specialist Dr. Iga Stasiak said in a press release.
“Hunters are encouraged to register online before taking their cervid heads to any Ministry of Environment field office. There is no charge for testing and you will get your results in two to eight weeks.”
The disease has not been detected in humans, however, the ministry recommends people do not consume meat from animal infected with CWD.
So far this year, 34 cases of CWD have been identified in the province.