No Common Disease Found in Newfoundland Labrador Moose

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Hunters and other concerned members of the public are advised that there is no confirmation of a common disease within the moose population on the Northern Peninsula. Despite speculation in the area, no evidence has been found of any common factor or disease among these animals and the fall hunt is not in jeopardy.

During the 2006-07 winter season, wildlife officials received a number of reports of emaciated moose throughout the Northern Peninsula. As a result, moose carcasses were collected and examined by veterinarians from the Department of Natural Resources. Autopsy results indicate a number of natural reasons why these animals were in poor physical condition such as injuries from the previous year’s hunt or naturally occurring accidents, the age of the animal, birth defects and shortages of food supply in the local area.

"Extensive aerial surveys for moose and caribou were conducted on the entire Northern Peninsula during the 2007-08 winter season," said the Honourable Charlene Johnson, Minister of Environment and Conservation. "Throughout the survey period, wildlife officials did not observe any indication of a widespread disease. However, we are continuing our efforts to collect and examine any animal reported to be in poor physical condition, as the health of our wildlife populations is critical to our management of these species."

The Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources and Minister Responsible for the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency, said that it is important for people to work co-operatively with conservation officers and report any sightings of emaciated moose.

"We ask people in the area to work with us to monitor the health of the local moose population, as well as any other animals in the area that may be exhibiting signs of illness," said Minister Dunderdale. "We are working with wildlife and veterinary officials to determine whether there are any diseases active in the moose population. If we do confirm the presence of any diseases, we will advise the public accordingly."

For more information or to report sick wildlife on the Northern Peninsula, please contact the Department of Natural Resources in Port Saunders at 709-861-3502.