September 03, 2015 - 4:30 PM
CHERRYVILLE -The provincial government is turning to Cherryville hunters for help finding out if a highly contagious disease has affected local wildlife.
There’s no evidence to say bovine tuberculosis has spread to wild deer, moose and elk populations after a 2011 outbreak involving seven cases in local livestock, but the province isn’t taking any chances. Now in year two of a three year project, Cherryville hunters are once again being asked to drop off heads from harvested deer, elk and moose for research purposes.
"Rigorous monitoring is in place, and there have been no reported cases since 2011," the province states in a media release.
In some cases the only infection signs are microscopic so an apparently healthy animal may be affected. Because of this, testing for tuberculosis in wildlife is challenging, the province says.
“Examining lymph nodes in the head and the lungs can give an indication of disease presence, which is why obtaining hunter samples for detailed study is so important."
The type of tuberculosis that occurs in wildlife and cattle can infect humans but is very rare. To prevent transmission, hunters are advised to thoroughly cook meat and routinely wash their hands and wear gloves when field dressing game.
Hunters are encouraged to drop off the heads of their harvested deer, elk or moose at collection freezers set up at Frank's General Store at 1139 Highway 6, at the junction of Sugar Lake Road and Highway 6, the RT Ranch Sausage and Custom Cutting at 39 Byers Road, off Highway 6, between Lumby and Cherryville, or the province's District office in Penticton at 102 Industrial Place in Penticton.
Bags and identification tags will be provided at the freezers. Arrangements can also be made to drop them off in Lumby by calling Susan Latimer at 250 547-9207. Antlers are not needed and should be removed because they take up too much freezer space.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015