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Alberta CWD farmed cervid surveillance

 
 
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Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a progressive, degenerative, fatal disease of the brain of wild and farmed cervids (elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer and moose).

CWD is associated with the accumulation of prions (abnormal proteins) in the brain; other known prion diseases include Scrapie in sheep and goats, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) in humans. To date, there is no evidence that CWD infects livestock or humans.

Epidemiological surveillance of CWD in wild cervids is conducted by Alberta Environment and Parks.

This page provides information and links to resources about CWD for Alberta cervid owners.

  • FAQ: How is CWD transmitted? Where has CWD occurred? Our fact sheet provides answers to these and other frequently asked questions.
  • Farming cervids in Alberta? Since 2002 and as a request of Alberta's farmed cervid industry the Alberta Mandatory Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Surveillance Program has been in place to provide confidence that Alberta herds are unlikely to be infected with CWD. The program requires CWD testing of all cervids one year of age and older that die for any reason including commercial and non-commercial slaughter, disease, accident, culling, euthanasia, or other.
  • How to identify “low CWD risk” herds? The National Chronic Wasting Disease Voluntary Herd Certification Program (VHCP) provides owners/cervid farm operators with a means of detecting and preventing introduction of CWD in their herd, and the opportunity to have their herds identified as “low risk” with respect to CWD. Participation in the VHCP is optional; however, once owners/cervid farm operators are enrolled in the VHCP, their compliance with the National Standards and the standard operating procedures (SOP) in their regional VHCP is mandatory.
    Import requirements of other countries for cervids may be based on enrolment or activities under the VHCP.
  • Planning on importing Saskatchewan farmed cervids to Alberta for slaughter? Alberta Chief Provincial Veterinarian must be informed and an application to import for slaughter must be submitted at least 10 business days in advance of the proposed date and time of travel to slaughter
  • Additional information on CWD management can be found at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) webpage. What happens if a CWD positive sample is detected in an Alberta farm? Follow this link to the CFIA CWD webpage.
  • Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and the CFIA provide various services to the cervid industry. Follow this link to access the Cervid Industry Duty Role and Contact List

Alberta’s Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Test Results in Farmed Cervids.

The Alberta government began conducting voluntary surveillance for CWD in farmed and wild cervids in the fall of 1996. Since August of 2002 under the Mandatory CWD Surveillance Program cervid owners are required to submit cervid heads to any Alberta Agriculture and Forestry laboratory (Edmonton, Fairview, Airdrie, and Lethbridge) for CWD testing.

Need to submit samples for CWD testing? Click here to download the submission form.


Total Alberta farmed cervids tested for CWD in Alberta by calendar year.

Year
Elk (Wapiti)
Whitetail Deer
Mule deer
other*
Total
non negative CWD
2017
1,832
117
0
3
1,952
2016
1,574
116
0
5
1,695
2015
2,271
225
0
11
2,507
3†
2014
1,917
286
0
11
2,214
2013
2,262
273
0
3
2,538
2012
2,112
310
0
6
2,428
2011
2,483
569
3
9
3,064
2010
4,019
742
21
6
4,788
2009
4,235
848
18
11
5,112
2008
5,147
1,087
26
36
6,296
2007
4,860
1,005
2
77
5,944
2006
5,878
708
32
75
6,693
2005
6,997
860
59
45
7,961
2004
6,640
1,144
72
48
7,904
2003
7,000
1,727
38
46
8,811
2002
3,912
1,035
10
32
4,989
1996-2001
1,063
371
36
14
1,484

*Reindeer, fallow deer, antelope, moose
ˠOne elk detected under the Alberta Mandatory CWD Surveillance Program
†Two elk detected under the Alberta Mandatory CWD Surveillance Program. One elk detected by the CFIA in a herd trace-out
ǂTwo whitetail deer from the same premises and one elk.
 
 
 
 
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Brett Oliver-Lyons.
This document is maintained by Ana Ulmer-Franco.
This information published to the web on January 8, 2004.
Last Reviewed/Revised on April 27, 2018.