At least 9 elk from a farm in Saskatchewan have escaped through a fence cut by vandals. The farm is close to the Manitoba border and the elk are believed to be in Manitoba now. The province has issued an order for conservation officials to use whatever means to find the elk and to kill them. Farmed elk are believed to carry CWD, and the fear of that spreading to the wild animals of Manitoba is enough to have all people on the lookout for these 9 escaped elk.
"It's about risk management, making sure we do everything we can to prevent the spread of this disease into Manitoba," Conservation Minister Gord Mackintosh said. Saskatchewan and Alberta are the only two provinces with CWD so far.
Hunting is an important part of life for the province, and they do not want the threat of CWD to destroy that. If the elk test negative for CWD, the meat will be donated. An aerial search is being conducted, and then if necessary helicopters will fly in shooters to take down the elk once found.
The province encourages anyone who spots a ear-tagged elk running wild to contact a local Manitoba Conservation office or call 1-800-782-0076 (toll-free). From Winnipeg Free Press .