Deer hunters are being reminded of their role in the Alberta government’s ongoing surveillance of chronic wasting disease.
Animals harvested in about 30 Wildlife Management Units, covering a large area of eastern Alberta (from Cold Lake south to the U.S. border), must be tested for CWD.
There are also four Wildlife Management Units where testing is voluntary.
CWD is a prion disease in deer. It is fatal in all cases. There is no evidence that CWD infects livestock or humans, according to the province’s Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Department.
In Alberta, the disease continues to occur primarily in mule deer, and males are more likely to be infected than females.
Hunters are required to submit the deer head (antlers and skull cap can be removed). Each head must have a green CWD label attached. After a deer is taken, hunters can visit at Fish and Wildlife office or, during rifle seasons, one of their 24-hour freezers in eastern Alberta to pick up a green CWD label.
Heads should be kept frozen and dropped off at a Fish and Wildlife office or any of the freezers.
Hunters who harvest a CWD-positive deer will receive a phone call from Fish and Wildlife. CWD-negative results are provided at albertarelm.com.
More information, including location of 24-hour freezers, is available at www.mywildalberta.com.