CWD Found In Alberta Moose

Not what you’re looking for? Find more news and events stories!

In February 2013, the Alberta government released a statement indicating Chronic Wasting Disease had been confirmed in an Alberta moose. This is the first case of CWD documented in a moose – in Alberta and in Canada – and there are only a few documented cases of CWD in moose in Colorado and Wyoming.

CWD only occurs in moose where they overlap with infected deer and the press release stated the government does not anticipate many cases of CWD in moose in Alberta, or significant effects on moose populations.

The moose, an adult bull, was hit on Highway 41, north of Hilda, Alta., near the South Saskatchewan River valley, in an area where CWD is known to occur in mule deer and white tail deer.

CWD Surveillance Update, Feb. 8, 2013 – provided by Alberta Fish and Wildlife:

Since September 2012, we completed CWD tests on 2,928 deer, elk or moose heads and detected 24 cases of CWD – 19 mule deer, 4 white tail deer and one moose.

Testing of heads from the 2012 hunting seasons continues and we anticipate having all heads sampled by mid-February and testing completed in March. The cases remain clustered on the Battle River watershed in the north and in the vicinity of the Red Deer River and its tributaries in the south.

The freezer map in the 2012 Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations contains freezer locations for 2011 (the guide is published before details for the fall are available.) The CWD Freezer Locations currently posted to our web pages has all the correct information for 2012.

However, all 24-hour freezers were picked up and are no longer available. You can still submit frozen heads at any Fish and Wildlife office during the regular hours for the each office.

The total number of CWD cases detected in wild deer in Alberta since September 2005 is 151.

  • Testing of the heads from the 2012 fall seasons is ongoing, as above.
  • The 2011 program completed tests on 3,195 heads.
    • Of the heads tested, 1,977 (62 per cent) were mule deer and 1,168 (37 per cent) were white tail deer.
    • The overall infection rate was 1.03 per cent; however, the case rate was 1.52 per cent in mule deer and 0.26 per cent in white tails.
    • CWD was detected in 33 deer: 30 mule deer (18 males, 12 females; three yearlings, 27 adults) and three white tails (one yearling male, two adult males.)
    • One case involved a road-killed deer, while the remainder was hunter-harvest deer.
    • All cases were detected within the CWD risk area along the eastern border.
    • The disease continues to expand its distribution in eastern Alberta, primarily in the Battle River and Red Deer/South Saskatchewan River watersheds.
  • A significant resurgence of CWD was detected along the South Saskatchewan River, south of Empress in WMU 150, as well as the hills at the east end of WMU 163. It appears the effects of the previous CWD control programs in these areas are waning.
  • CWD surveillance is focused on the Alberta/Saskatchewan border; however, hunter-killed deer, and elk, are accepted from anywhere in the province, as in previous years.
  • Ongoing negative test results are posted to AlbertaRelm and made available to individual hunters. When test results are available, the hunter receives an e-mail that alerts them to check their account.
  • Ongoing positive test results are provided by phone directly to the hunter who harvested the infected deer.

Join us on Facebook!

Do you like what you’re reading? Subscribe to Western Sportsman print edition today!

Find more news and events stories!

This entry was posted in General, Hunting, Latest News, News & Events and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.