To maintain the health of Saskatchewan’s wildlife population, the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation (SWF) is encouraging hunters to submit heads for Saskatchewan’s Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing this hunting season.
CWD is a disease that affects the nervous system of deer, elk and moose, and while infected animals may appear healthy for more than a year before signs appear, it is a fatal disease for these animals.
Although there is no evidence of CWD impacts on humans at this time, the potential is uncertain. The World Health Organization, Health Canada and Ministry of Health recommend hunters not eat any animals known to be infected with CWD, and as such the need for testing is imperative. Hunters should also take precautions when field dressing and processing animals.
“This disease isn’t something that hunters can easily detect in an animal themselves,” says SWF Executive Director Darrell Crabbe. “They need to submit the heads for testing, and we can’t stress enough the importance of this, as this disease will have permanent and devastating effects on our wildlife.”
To help encourage hunters to participate in CWD testing, the SWF will offer a draw for six pairs of binoculars. Simply turn in heads to any Ministry of Environment field office and your name will be entered into the draw.
Hunters can help slow the spread of CWD by not introducing the disease to new areas of the province by leaving gut piles on site and properly dispose of carcasses and meat from CWD-infected animals.
This disease has the potential to change herd structure across the province. By helping to monitor for CWD, hunters will help maintain the health of Saskatchewan’s wildlife population for generations to come.
For a listing of field offices, visit http://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/directory?tab=browse&ou=%7bCEFCDC1B-D7CA-4E50-ABA3-1EE557C5F2D7%7d, and for more information on CWD, visit www.swf.sk.ca/resources/for-hunters/chronic-wasting-disease-cwd.
For more information, contact:
Darrell Crabbe, SWF Executive Director
(306) 692-8812 or cell (306) 630-8780