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CWD on the rise in Alberta
Nearly one in four mule deer tested positive for the disease
Chronic wasting disease is spreading among deer, elk and moose in Alberta. In some case, 23% of populations have tested positive for the fatal disease.
Surveillance conducted by the province during the 2022-23 hunting seasons found CWD in 23.4% of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), 8.3% of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginanus) 1.6% of elk (Cervus canadensis) and 2.9% of moose (Alces alces).
The disease, which causes the nervous system of affected ungulates to deteriorate, is highly contagious and can linger in the environment, allowing it to spread among herds.
“It’s one of the things that happens with CWD. The numbers don’t appear to go down with time,” Debbie McKenzie, an associate professor in the department of biological sciences at the University of Alberta, told the CBC.