From: TSS ()
Subject: New CWD found in Alberta February 22, 2006
Date: February 23, 2006 at 11:32 am PST
New CWD found in Alberta
Chauvin cull not affected
John B. Spigott
Wednesday February 22, 2006
Lloydminster Meridian Booster — Alberta has discovered another four cases of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), which will likely put additional eyes on the upcoming cull in the Lloydminster area.
The latest cases were discovered near Empress and Acadia Valley as part of a disease control action that removed 837 wild deer in the southeast part of the province, and brings the total number of confirmed CWD cases to eight in wild deer in Alberta since the first case in September of 2005.
These cases come on the heels of reports from Saskatchewan that the province has set record highs for CWD, with 36 animals testing positive this year. Saskatchewan has reported more than 100 cases of the disease in wild deer.
“Alberta considers chronic wasting disease a serious environmental and economic threat and will continue to take swift and immediate action to prevent further spread,” said David Coutts, minister of sustainable resource development, in a prepared statement. “We will modify and enhance our management programs as new information on this disease is made available.”
The decision to cull deer in various areas of the province was made on the recommendations of an international expert scientific panel on CWD and is guided by Canada’s National CWD Control Strategy. Local deer culls, like the one taking place shortly in the Chauvin area, stand to eliminate new areas of infection.
Population reduction in high-risk areas are the recommended action to control and prevent the spread of the disease, and despite the objections of some local hunting enthusiasts, Lyle Fullerton, communications officer with Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, said that they will be going on as planned with these culls.
“We came up with four positive cases in the Empress and Acadia Valley area, so that’s where we’ve been focusing our efforts,” said Fullerton. “But these findings will have no effect on what we plan on doing in the Chauvin area starting on Feb. 24.”
Alberta Fish and Wildlife culled 486 deer from the Chauvin area a year ago, and although no animals tested positive for CWD, the decision was made to go forward with another cull this year.
The cull in the Dillberry Lake Provincial Park will begin this Friday and run through until Mar. 9, but the number of deer that will be targeted is not yet been released.
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