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From: TSS ()
Subject: CWD discovered in white-tailed deer ALBERTA
Date: April 11, 2007 at 7:31 am PST

CWD discovered in white-tailed deer
The fight against Chronic Wasting Disease in Alberta has taken a new twist as officials have uncovered the first case of CWD in a white-tailed deer.

John B. Spigott
Wednesday April 11, 2007

The fight against Chronic Wasting Disease in Alberta has taken a new twist as officials have uncovered the first case of CWD in a white-tailed deer.
The infected deer, which was culled from the Empress-Acadia Valley area of the province in late March, is the first white-tailed deer in Alberta to be confirmed with the disease. The finding has raised the concern of Alberta Fish and Wildlife officials, who are speculating the reasons for the first positive test in an Alberta white-tailed deer.
“Of the 449 deer we collected down there, we have three new positives,” said Lyle Fullerton, communications officer for Alberta Sustainable Resource Development. “One of those three was a white-tailed – we have not had a positive case of CWD in a wild white-tailed prior to this.”
Until the discovery, CWD in Alberta had previously been confined to mule deer, but Fullerton says it is not uncommon for other regions to have CWD in white-tailed deer. He pointed to Saskatchewan – where 35 out of the 148 reported cases of CWD have been in white-tailed deer – and Wisconsin, where every reported case of CWD has been in a white-tailed deer.

During this year’s two culls along the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, white-tailed deer were targeted more so than mule deer. Of the 449 deer collected in the Empress-Acadia Valley region, 169 mule deer and 280 white-tailed deer, and in the Chauvin area, 801 of the 1401 culled deer were white-tailed. With Alberta Fish and Wildlife eagerly waiting the results of the Chauvin cull, Fullerton says he is concerned the positive case in Empress-Acadia Valley won’t be the last positive case in the province.
“We’re waiting to see what the test results are from the Chauvin area,” said Fullerton. “Now that we have this first white-tail in Alberta, it’s obviously a big concern for us.”
Fullerton believes one of the reasons a positive case has never been confirmed in a white-tailed deer is because collection efforts in the past have been primarily focused on mule deer, something Alberta Fish and Wildlife changed with the most recent cull. However, Fullerton is still unsure why the disease is more prevalent in mule deer.
“It’s really difficult to say,” said Fullerton. “It could be a function of habitat use by mule deer … it’s difficult to say. But I guess we were wondering why we hadn’t detected it in white-tailed deer before, even though the number of white-tailed deer we had tested along the border has not been as high as the number of mule deer we have tested.
“The bottom line is that CWD does affect white-tailed deer.”
This year’s cull in the Chauvin area wrapped up on March 27, and Fullerton said he expects the results be released by the end of April.


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