Priority disease – Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal infection that affects species in the deer family (cervids) such as mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, moose and caribou. 

Although CWD has not yet been detected in B.C., it has continued to spread in almost all affected jurisdictions despite mitigation and management efforts. In order to prevent CWD in B.C.’s cervid populations it requires a collaborative, coordinated and rapid response.

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Latest news and resources

The latest news and resources for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) will be posted here. Learn more and help us to spread the word by sharing this content.  


More about Chronic Wasting Disease in B.C. 

Learn more about Chronic Wasting Disease 

Learn more about the signs and symptoms of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and why it is important to prevent it in B.C.'s cervid populations. 

Learn more about CWD


What is being done to prevent CWD in B.C.

Surveillance is a critical component in preventing CWD. Learn how you can report sick animals and submit harvested deer, elk and moose heads for testing.

Preventing CWD in B.C. 


Surveillance and Testing

Find out more about the proper conditions to  submit a head for CWD testing and drop-off locations in B.C.

Submit a head for testing


Fact Cards on Chronic Wasting Disease

The fact cards below are a series of images that can be printed or shared on websites or social media.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is cause by an abnormal protein called a prion. Prions accumulate in the brain of infected animals, impairing brain function.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been found in 26 American states and three Canadian provinces. CWD can seriously impact affected cervid (deer, elk, moose) populations.

Why is it unlawful to bring an intact cervid (deer, elk, moose) carcass to B.C.? It could introduce Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) to the province.

Public Health recommends that animals infected with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) should not be eaten. Be aware of the risk. Consider submitting hunted cervid (deer, elk, moose) heads for testing.

Hunters, you can submit a head for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing and still keep the antlers. Find out what samples to submit and where can you submit them at our website.

Early stages of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) are not always obvious. A deer, elk or moose may be infected for over a year before showing symptoms.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is found in species of the deer family, also known as cervids. There has never been a case of CWD in humans, sheep, or cattle.

An infected cervid (deer, elk, moose) carcass could introduce Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) to B.C. Cleaned antlers, hide and deboned meat have less risk of transporting CWD.

An infected animal can shed the proteins that cause Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) into the environment. Saliva, urine, feces, or the carcass from an infected animal could introduce CWD to B.C.

Surveillance for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is important to recognize the disease as early as possible. You can help by submitting the head of any cervid (deer, elk, moose) harvested in B.C.

Hunting in the Kootenays this fall? Be aware that there is mandatory submission of Mule and White-tailed Deer heads for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing in highest-risk areas.