Released on December 1, 2022
As your hunting season begins to wind down, please remember to drop off your animal heads for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing.
Testing is easy and free of charge. It is available for deer, elk, moose and caribou from any zone in the province, but the priority is for heads collected along the boreal fringe and the eastern border. This includes wildlife management zones 2W, 9, 10, 35, 37, 50 and 55, which are specifically targeted due to a risk of the disease spreading in these areas.
CWD is a fatal and infectious central nervous system disease in cervid species that has no known cure. Last year, 644 submitted heads tested positive - two moose, 16 elk, 167 white-tailed deer and 459 mule deer. The Government of Saskatchewan is providing funding towards research and development of a vaccine for CWD over the next five years in partnership with the Government of Alberta and the Alberta Conservation Association.
"Hunting has a long and proud tradition in our province and we want to ensure our world-class resources are available for future generations," Environment Minister Dana Skoropad said. "That's why it's so important for hunters to submit samples for testing, especially in the targeted wildlife management zones. The results of these tests help the ministry monitor the spread of CWD, as well as develop plans to manage it."
Heads will be accepted for testing until Jan. 21, 2023. For more information, a complete list of drop-off sites and how to submit a sample for testing, visit: saskatchewan.ca/cwd.
Although no human case of CWD has been documented, it is recommended that you avoid eating or distributing the meat from animals that are known to be CWD positive. If your animal tests positive, the meat should be disposed of in an approved landfill and meat may be double-bagged and disposed of with household garbage in limited quantities.
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