Chronic Wasting Disease Discovered In Manitoba

Press Release

Management Actions Implemented

On Oct. 14, as part of the province’s wildlife health surveillance program, a male mule deer was observed to be unhealthy and was euthanized in western Manitoba, near Lake of the Prairies.  Subsequent testing found the animal to have chronic wasting disease (CWD). This is the first time this disease has been found in Manitoba. Other animals in the area may also have CWD, so to ensure the disease is not spread through the transport of a diseased carcass, Manitoba will be immediately implementing a ban on hunting deer, moose, caribou and elk in the area. The boundaries of this area are currently being determined, but will initially include at least a portion of Game Hunting Area (GHA) 22.

CWD is an incurable fatal disease that affects members of the deer family, including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose and caribou. Animals infected with CWD may appear healthy until the later stages of the disease, and while CWD is not known as a human health risk, meat from a CWD infected animal is not recommended for consumption. In order to protect their health, hunters’ active in areas where CWD has been detected should have their harvested animal tested, practice safe carcass handling protocols and avoid consumption of any animal that has tested positive for CWD.

CWD has been known to infect animals in Saskatchewan, Alberta and 24 states. Manitoba has had very rigorous reporting and testing requirements for CWD, including making it illegal to bring certainunprocessed meat into Manitoba.

The province has immediately begun to plan for additional CWD surveillance actions in the area surrounding this finding and has reached out to multiple stakeholders, First Nations, Metis and other groups who need to be aware. At this time, there is no indication of any connection to farmed elk populations. The elk farming industry has ongoing CWD surveillance and there have been no reported cases in farmed animals in Manitoba. CWD does not infect cattle or other domesticated animals.

The province will need the full co-operation of the public, including hunters, producers, and land-owners to ensure this disease is contained or even eradicated from the area.

Additional information will be shared as it becomes available.

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For more information:

  • Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.
  • Media requests for general information, contact Communications and Engagement: [email protected].
  • Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-290-5374.


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