Chronic wasting disease reaches British Columbia

The deadly disease was found in two deer in the Kootenay region

Chronic wasting disease has been detected in two deer in British Columbia, marking the first time the deadly disease has been observed in the province. 

The two cases were in the Kootenay region, south of Cranbrook, according to the BC Wildlife Federation. In the first case, a sample taken from a hunter-harvested male mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) tested positive after being sent to the B.C. CWD Program. That deer appeared to be in good condition. The second case involved a road-killed white-tailed deer (O. virginianus). 

CWD is a highly contagious fatal disease that affects the central nervous system of cervids, including deer and elk. It has spread through the United States and Canada. Officials have confirmed the disease in both free-ranging and captive cervid populations in 32 states and five provinces. 

Read more from the BC Wildlife Federation.

Header Image: Chronic wasting disease has been found in two deer in British Columbia. Credit: Michael Kanka