Chronic Wasting Disease discovered on game farm Saskatchewan Wednesday Dec. 21, 2011
Posted Dec 22 2011 1:43pm
Chronic Wasting Disease discovered on game farm
Date: Wednesday Dec. 21, 2011 5:55 PM CST
Chronic wasting disease has been discovered on another game farm in Saskatchewan. It is the fourth case in the province so far this year.
The latest case involves a white tail deer from a farm in the Prince Albert area. The animal was discovered to be carrying the disease through a mandatory testing program for all animals over the age of 12 months that die on farms.
Canada Food Inspection Agency scientists say the disease poses very little risk to humans.
However, they say to prevent the spread of CWD to other animals or farms it is necessary to slaughter the entire herd.
Alex McIsaac, from CIFA, says slaughter is the only way to do an accurate test. "Unfortunately we don't have a live animal test at this time so that's the only way we can determine how far it has spread, unfortunately it's by destroying animals and using this post-mortem sample."
Saskatchewan deer tests positive for fatal disorder
CWD case doesn't raise concern with CFIA
Reported by Brent Bosker First Posted: Dec 20, 2011 8:46am
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has resurfaced in Saskatchewan.
According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), a white tail deer tested positive for the fatal disorder last month on a farm in the Prince Albert district.
The farm where the deer tested positive has been quarantined and the remainder of the herd will be destroyed.
The case isn’t raising any concern with the CFIA who monitors and investigates cases.
“Basically this is about what we would expect to see,” said Alex McIsaac, veterinarian disease control specialist with CFIA.
“We find these cases through surveillance … it’s a mandatory requirement for cervid producers in Saskatchewan to submit heads from animals over 12 months of age that die unexpectedly,” McIssac said.
CWD is a degenerative disease that affects the central nervous system of cervids such as elk, moose and deer.
The disease is a spongy type of legion on the brain that McIssac said causes a number of symptoms.
“We would see a lack of coordination, difficulty walking, separation from herd (so now they don’t feel they’re a part of the herd they’re a little nervous about where they are), excess of salivation (so they drool a lot), depression … and unusual behavior.”
This case comes six months after the last case was reported and is the fourth one this year.
Since surveillance began in 1996 there have been 66 cases across Canada, predominantly in Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan had five cases in 2010 and two in 2009.
Herds infected with Chronic Wasting Disease in Canada in 2011
The CFIA works with provincial governments and industry to conduct regular CWD surveillance. Ongoing provincial surveillance for CWD varies with each particular province's perceived threat and infection status. Testing is mandatory in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Yukon; it is voluntary elsewhere.
In addition, CWD is a reportable disease under the Health of Animals Regulations. This means that all suspected cases must be reported to the CFIA.
The following table lists domestic cervid herds confirmed to be infected with CWD in Canada in 2011.
Press reports indicate that increased surveillance is catching what otherwise would have been unreported findings of atypical scrapie in sheep. In 2009, five new cases have been reported in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. With the exception of Quebec, all cases have been diagnosed as being the atypical form found in older animals. Canada encourages producers to join its voluntary surveillance program in order to gain scrapie-free status. The World Animal Health will not classify Canada as scrapie-free until no new cases are reported for seven years. The Canadian Sheep Federation is calling on the government to fund a wider surveillance program in order to establish the level of prevalence prior to setting an eradication date. Besides long-term testing, industry is calling for a compensation program for farmers who report unusual deaths in their flocks.
The most recent assessments (and reassessments) were published in June 2005 (Table I; 18), and included the categorisation of Canada, the USA, and Mexico as GBR III. Although only Canada and the USA have reported cases, the historically open system of trade in North America suggests that it is likely that BSE is present also in Mexico.