News Release - September 21, 2007
SASKATCHEWAN’S 2007 CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE CONTROL PROGRAM
Saskatchewan's 2007 Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Control Program is ready and it has a few changes from last year.
In areas where CWD has previously been detected, the small herd reduction areas are being expanded to encompass the whole wildlife management zone. The seven wildlife management zones include 24, 29, 43, 46, 47, 50 (including Fort a la Corne Wildlife Management Unit) and 68 South. Two exceptions to the zone-wide approach are the established herd reduction areas east of Kindersley near D'Arcy and along the South Saskatchewan River near Saskatchewan Landing.
Hunters will now be charged for big game management licences to harvest either-sex deer rather than providing them free of charge. Big game management licences are $19.81. A portion of all licence fees goes to support the Fish and Wildlife Development Fund. This money is used to secure, monitor and improve both fish and wildlife habitat throughout Saskatchewan.
Hunters are being asked to continue to harvest animals from these identified areas. They are also being asked to submit samples from zones near infected areas. The heads of all deer turned in from anywhere in the province will be tested free of charge. Fawns will not be tested.
The department has entered into a $240,000 contract with the Canadian Co-operative Wildlife Health Centre at the University of Saskatchewan to undertake CWD testing on samples that hunters have submitted.
"This contract enables us to continue to provide for free testing of all deer heads," Environment Minister John Nilson said. "Testing is a crucial part of the Chronic Wasting Disease Control Program. Testing helps to determine where the disease is located in the province, how many deer are infected, in relation to the overall herd, and whether it is spreading into other areas. That is why it is so important for hunters to continue to turn in heads for testing."
Hunters are reminded to get permission from the landowner or lessee to hunt or retrieve game on their land. They are advised to check with their local Saskatchewan Environment office or conservation officer for details.
Saskatchewan Environment is also co-operating with the University of Saskatchewan on a deer movement study along the South Saskatchewan River near Saskatchewan Landing. In this area, deer are equipped with radio collars and/or ear tags. Hunters are asked not to shoot deer that have collars on them.
Since 1997 Saskatchewan Environment has tested approximately 32,000 samples taken from wild deer and found 150 cases of chronic wasting disease.
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