Manitoba Natural Resources and Northern Development is advising of the first detections of white-tailed deer infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Manitoba, along with additional detections of CWD in mule deer.
CWD is an incurable, fatal disease that affects members of the deer family (cervids) including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose and caribou. Animals infected with CWD may appear healthy until the later stages of the disease. If the disease spreads and becomes endemic to Manitoba, there is a serious risk that CWD will threaten the health of all cervid populations in the province.
First detected in Manitoba in 2021, a total of 20 positive cases of CWD have been detected to date. Eighteen detections of mule deer (17 male and one female) and two detections of male white-tailed deer. Cases were identified from mandatory biological sampling submissions of animals as well as animals harvested by department staff as a part of ongoing CWD management efforts.
(Image - Map of CWD cases - Gov. of MB)
The province thanks hunters for participating in efforts to manage CWD. Submissions have exceeded the capacity to test samples at accredited Canadian labs and are leading to higher-than-expected wait times. The province continues to receive and post test results, but estimates the wait time is currently 16 to 20 weeks from the time of submission.
CWD is not known as a human health risk, but meat from a CWD-infected animal is not recommended for consumption. Hunters who are active in areas where CWD is a concern should have harvested animals tested, practise safe carcass-handling protocols, and avoid consumption of any animal that has tested positive for CWD.
The province will provide an update on CWD management efforts once all samples are processed.
Sample results from harvested animals will be posted, once available, at www.gov.mb.ca/nrnd/fish-wildlife/wildlife/cwd-results/cwd-results.html
Hunters with questions or concerns about an animal that has been harvested can email CWD@gov.mb.ca or call 1-204-638-4570.
For more information, visit www.manitoba.ca/cwd