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Sask. hunters urged to submit wildlife samples for disease detection

Saskatchewan is looking for wildlife samples from hunters for testing for chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis. Global News

Hunters in Saskatchewan are being encouraged to submit samples of deer, moose and elk to be tested for chronic wasting disease as well as bovine tuberculosis.

The Ministry of Environment said it was focusing on certain wildlife management zones, but added that chronic wasting disease (CWD) was detected in 60 of the 83 zones in the province.

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Scientist discusses risks of bovine tuberculosis after disease traced to Saskatchewan farm

“Since the province began monitoring over 25 years ago, we have seen the spread and prevalence of chronic wasting disease increase in the province,” said Environment Minister Christine Tell.

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“We rely on hunters submitting samples for testing so we can continue to measure and manage CWD, and we are grateful to their ongoing support in those efforts.”

The province said testing wildlife for bovine tuberculosis was added due to a detection of the disease in cattle earlier this year.

“While it was detected in a cattle herd on an east central farm earlier this year, bovine TB has never been detected in wildlife in Saskatchewan,” the province said in a release.

Hunters can sign up to get testing on the CWD online tracking system website.

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“CWD is an infectious central nervous system disease in cervids such as deer, moose, and elk, for which there is no known cure. It is always fatal in affected animals, and high infection rates can impact populations.”

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“Bovine TB is a contagious, chronic bacterial infection that causes chronic debilitation and weight loss, and typically affects the respiratory system of affected animals. While it is possible for bovine TB to spread from animals to people, it is extremely rare,” read the province’s release.

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