MNR Plans CWD Testing

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The province will continue its surveillance program for chronic wasting disease (CWD) by again testing a number of deer killed by hunters this year.

"There are no known cases of chronic wasting disease in Ontario but we must be vigilant about the health of our wildlife," said Chris Davies, Manager of Wildlife Research and Development in the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR).

Building on last year's pilot program in the Owen Sound area, the Ministry of Natural Resources will undertake testing in eastern Ontario in the Kemptville district during the regulated deer gun season in November. Ministry wildlife research technicians will take a small amount of tissue from the head area of deer harvested by resident hunters. Samples will be analysed at the Animal Health Laboratory at the University of Guelph, and hunters will be notified of the test results.

As well, the Ministry of Natural Resources is working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to develop a provincial Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance and Response Plan to reduce the risk of chronic wasting disease in Ontario.

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal disease of the nervous system of deer and elk. It has been detected in some US states, as well as in Alberta and Saskatchewan. There is no scientific evidence to date that CWD can infect humans.

The Ministry of Natural Resources continues to work with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the Canadian Co-operative Wildlife Health Centre to monitor scientific developments on chronic wasting disease and on measures to prevent it entering Ontario or infecting Ontario's wildlife.