Monday, April 02, 2018

Canada Liberal MLA David Swann quoted, This provincial government is negligent, spread of CWD reminiscent of the onset of Canada’s mad cow disease crisis

Province 'negligent' in containing cervid disease, says MLA Clare ClancyCLARE CLANCY

More from Clare Clancy Published on: April 2, 2018 | Last Updated: April 2, 2018 6:00 AM MDT

SHARE ADJUST COMMENT PRINT The spread of a fatal neurological illness affecting elk, moose and deer in eastern Alberta is reminiscent of the onset of Canada’s mad cow disease crisis, says an Alberta legislator. 

Liberal MLA David Swann warned that chronic wasting disease (CWD) — a prion disease in the same family as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), scrapies and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), which affect cattle, sheep and humans respectively — needs to be contained before irreparably harming the environment, agriculture industry and human health.

“This provincial government is negligent,” he was recorded as saying in Hansard last month.

He called on the NDP to implement more stringent policies to restrict the movement of animals in an effort to quell the spread of the disease. He also advocated for a summit where leaders from Ottawa and affected provinces can discuss a national strategy. 

“That would ultimately move us towards a stronger evidence base about getting serious about controlling this disease,” he said in an interview. 

In 2003, a single BSE-infected cow traced back to northern Alberta spurred a worldwide ban on Canadian beef exports and cost up to $10 billion. 

“We learned nothing from the BSE crisis,” Swann said in Hansard. “Conventional wisdom at the time assured us that this could not be transmitted to humans. This proved wrong, and variant CJD cost over 200 human lives.” 

 ‘Relatively new’ In 2002, a lone elk on a game farm became Alberta’s first CWD case. Since then, four other farms have had animals test positive. In 2005, Alberta reported its first cases of wild cervids along the Saskatchewan border.

The disease — which has also been reported in more than two dozen U.S. states, Norway and South Korea — has no treatment or vaccine. 

“It’s a relatively new disease on the landscape,” said Margo Pybus, provincial wildlife disease specialist, last Monday. “It is slowly increasing within local populations on the east side of the province.”

Researchers haven’t ruled out the possibility that the disease can infect humans or cattle — a University of Calgary study found CWD could infect macaque monkeys who ate tainted meat — but agree it’s extremely unlikely. 

Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier said he’s confident in Alberta’s tracking system, which costs $700,000 annually and includes mandatory testing for hunted deer meat in certain areas. 

“I do think (Swann is) wrong comparing this to BSE,” Carlier said Thursday. “With the traceability we’re doing now … we’re in a really good place to stay ahead of it to ensure we have the measures in place to protect the herds and protect the markets.”

Carlier noted he is “somewhat concerned” by the less strict control measures set out by other jurisdictions. 

Saskatchewan disbanded its mandatory wildlife testing program in 2012. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency recently changed its monitoring program of farmed cervids and launched a voluntary herd certification program. The agency said the move followed unsuccessful attempts to contain the disease.

“At first glance there are concerns with the CFIA backing away with some of their control measures,” Carlier said. “At the moment what I think what we’re doing … is strong enough.” 

Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier. IAN KUCERAK / POSTMEDIA

Caribou concerns Alberta’s threatened woodland caribou could also be at risk, said University of Alberta researcher Debbie McKenzie, who is among a group of scientists funded by the Alberta Prion Research Institute.

“That’s one thing that we’re very concerned about,” she said, adding at least four CWD strains have been confirmed. 

The disease is transmitted through direct contact among animals, as well as by saliva, fecal matter and urine. Cross-species infection with other animals including bison, bighorn sheep and mountain goats could also happen, she said. “It’s very infectious to animals.”

The disease’s spread could also force deer populations into decline, which has happened in Colorado and Wyoming. They were home to the first reported CWD cases in the late 1970s.

“Then that is going to have a lot of ramifications on the environment,” she said.

Expanding surveillance program Last year Alberta tested more than 6,000 deer heads for the disease, and the plan is to boost that number to 10,000 annually, said Matt Dykstra, spokesman for the minister of environment and parks. 

“Our objective is to be able to limit the rate at which the disease spreads. This is not an easy task,” he said in a statement Thursday. 

Program experts spent the last week of March in the U.S. to present on two decades of research to counterparts in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada, he added.

“Many other jurisdictions are looking at our data because we have a continuous picture about how this disease moves across the landscape,” he said. 

The surveillance program depends on hunters turning in their deer heads, McKenzie said. 

“If people are in areas where we know there is CWD, they should get their animals tested and not eat them if they’re positive.” 

''Caribou concerns Alberta’s threatened woodland caribou could also be at risk, said University of Alberta researcher Debbie McKenzie, who is among a group of scientists funded by the Alberta Prion Research Institute. “That’s one thing that we’re very concerned about,” she said, adding at least four CWD strains have been confirmed.''


Province of Alberta 

The 29th Legislature Fourth Session Alberta Hansard 

Thursday afternoon, March 15, 2018 Day 5 The Honourable Robert E. Wanner, Speaker 

 Chronic Wasting Disease 

 Dr. Swann: Mr. Speaker, we learned nothing from the BSE crisis. Mad cow disease, an incurable and rapidly fatal infectious prion disease of the brain, devastated our cattle industry 15 years ago at roughly a cost of $10 billion in lost markets. Conventional wisdom at the time assured us that this could not be transmitted to humans. This proved wrong, and variant CJD cost over 200 human lives. 

 CWD, chronic wasting disease, is a similar, decades-old prion disease which began in deer and elk farms and is now growing across western Canada in the wild. It is spread easily from body fluids, not only from eating the meat, across the deer family, with weak and inconsistent provincial and federal control measures. Both game farming and wildlife management are provincial issues, but the federal food inspection agency, CFIA, sets the standards for meat safety and just last year relaxed the regulations for controlling this disease. 

 Paul Glover, the CFIA director, wrote the following: since 2010 CWD has spread and become firmly established in wild cervids in Saskatchewan and Alberta and cannot be eradicated with the tools currently available. End quote. This highlights the failure of cooperation between federal and provincial governments in control measures. 

 Recent U of C studies on CWD showed that it can be transmitted to experimental monkeys after they eat the flesh of infected deer. This is mobilizing the wildlife and hunting community, especially indigenous communities who depend on wild game. It’s also the agricultural community’s worst nightmare. We know that a significant number of infected deer and elk are consumed without being properly tested. 

 Dr. Neil Cashman, a noted neurobiologist and prion scientist from UBC, recently said, quote, we appear to be waiting till CWD is found in humans, end quote, before taking serious action on control and elimination of the disease. 

 This provincial government is negligent. We have learned nothing from . . . 

 The Speaker: Thank you, hon. member 


Canada CFIA updating its national CWD TSE PRION efforts to eradicate disease farmed cervid NOT successful December 14, 2017

SUNDAY, JULY 02, 2017 

CFIA Notice to Industry – Updates to the federal management of chronic wasting disease in farmed cervids

FRIDAY, JUNE 02, 2017

Alberta Canada Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Surveillance Update: 2016/17 Final

MONDAY, MARCH 13, 2017

Herds infected with Chronic Wasting Disease in Canada – 2017


Stakeholder Perspectives on Chronic Wasting Disease Risk and Management on the Canadian Prairies 

Friday, September 02, 2016

Canada Chronic Wasting Disease CWD Surveillance Update 2016

Published Date: 2007-01-05 23:50:00 

Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Chronic wasting disease, cervids - Canada: 

(AB) Archive Number: 20070105.0051



A ProMED-mail post ProMED-mail, a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: 4 Jan 2006 

From: Terry Singletary Source: Alberta Sustainable Resources [edited]

Alberta Sustainable Resources is issuing this as a Correction: replaces December 11 news release distributed in error this afternoon

Alberta is now about half-way through testing for its 2006-07 chronic wasting disease (CWD) surveillance program. Three more cases of CWD in wild deer have been confirmed out of the 1609 deer tested. This brings the total to 16 cases in wild deer in Alberta since the first case in September 2005.

The 3 new cases involve deer taken during the recent hunting season in areas being monitored for the disease by Sustainable Resource Development, Fish and Wildlife staff. A male mule deer from along the Red Deer River (wildlife management unit [WMU] 151) tested positive for the disease. Two female mule deer were taken west of Edgerton and south of Chauvin (in WMU 234).

One of these animals came from near previously known Alberta cases. The other 2 came from a high-risk area near Saskatchewan where positive wild and farmed deer have been found. Two of these latest cases were confirmed 8 Dec 2006, and the 3rd (near Chauvin) on 20 Dec.

Hunters and landowners have played a critical role in the success of the CWD control program. Many Alberta hunters have participated in the quota hunts, and landowners have allowed additional hunting on their property. Most seasons are closed now in the target areas, with the final license season ending on 15 Jan 2007.

Hunters are reminded that submitting deer heads is a requirement in 5 wildlife management units along the Alberta/Saskatchewan border. These include WMUs 150, 151, 234, 256, and 500. Any heads taken in these areas and kept frozen since the animal was shot can still be dropped off at a Fish and Wildlife office or at one of the 24-hour freezers. Maps and information are posted at .

Chronic wasting disease affects the nervous system; infected animals cannot maintain weight and slowly waste away. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that CWD can infect humans. As a precaution, the World Health Organization advises against allowing products from animals known to be infected with CWD into the human food system. The 3 hunters have been contacted and were offered various alternatives including a replacement tag or replacement meat.

-- Terry Singletary  

On to Alberta 

 In Alberta, the game-farm industry suffered another setback with the discovery of CWD in a 2 1/2-year-old elk. The animal came from a farm north of Edmonton and was one of 160 elk slaughtered at a packing plant in southern Alberta on March 7, 2002. 

The 32 tons of resulting meat were destroyed, and veterinarians from Canadian Food Inspection Agency imposed a three-week freeze on movements of elk within or out of Alberta. Alberta's captive elk herd is estimated at 43,000 head, and the province has no regulations for CWD testing. However, several farms voluntarily test their herds. 

The infected elk was found via routine surveillance. Although biologists don't know how the infection entered Alberta, it's possible the disease came from a wild deer or was in the herd before the province's 1988 ban on importation. It is also possible an infected animal was brought into Alberta after the ban. 


 As of October 2001, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency found 159 CWD-positive elk on game farms, of which 52 were imported from a South Dakota facility. It was later learned the South Dakota facili­ty had imported elk from a Colorado farm that had CWD-infected elk. Of course, there's another side to this story -- the game farmers who are suffer­ing huge financial losses from CWD. The North American Elk Breeders Asso­ciation believes CWD, "in all likelihood 

Geographic distribution Williams (1,2) has described 2 contemporary epidemics (Figure 1). One epidemic is in free-ranging cervids, the other in farmed cervids (1,2). Chronic wasting disease is considered endemic in free-ranging deer and elk in the area comprising northeastern Colorado, southeastern Wyoming, and the southwest corner of the panhandle of Nebraska (1). The disease has also been identified in these free-ranging species in southwestern South Dakota; northwestern Nebraska; and, more recently, in southcentral Wisconsin, northwestern Colorado, southern New Mexico (2), Illinois, and Utah. Since 1996, infection in farmed cervids has been reported in Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Montana, and Minnesota (1). 

In Canada, CWD has been reported in farmed cervids in only 2 provinces, Saskatchewan and Alberta, with 40 (95%) of the 42 infected farms being located in Saskatchewan. The first case in farmed elk was diagnosed in 1996 in Saskatchewan. The first case in farmed white-tailed deer was diagnosed in Alberta in November 2002. Testing of 13 947 wild cervids between 1996 and 2002 (11 055 in Saskatchewan and 2892 in Alberta) has found only 12 infected wild deer, in the province of Saskatchewan. Limited testing in other provinces has not detected any CWD-infected animals to date. Chronic wasting disease has been diagnosed outside North America only once (6). In 1994 and 1997, a total of 125 elk were exported to South Korea from a Saskatchewan farm, later known to be infected with CWD; 1 of these elk was confirmed as being positive for CWD in 2001.

MONDAY, MAY 29, 2017 

Canada CCA optimistic over potential for revisions to OIE criteria for BSE negligible risk


Friday, February 20, 2015

A BSE CANADIAN COW MAD COW UPDATE Transcript - Briefing (February 18, 2015)


Canadian Food Inspection Agency Confirms Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in Alberta



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Canada, USA, Bad feed, mad cows: Why we know three BSE cases had a common origin and why the SSS policy is in full force $$$

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Canada, U.S. agree on animal-disease measures to protect trade, while reducing human and animal health protection.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

CANADA 19 cases of mad cow disease SCENARIO 4: ‘WE HAD OUR CHANCE AND WE BLEW IT’

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Canadian veterinarian fined after approving banned BSE high risk cattle for export to U.S.A.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Quick facts about mad cow disease

Friday, March 4, 2011.

Alberta dairy cow found with mad cow disease.

Thursday, February 10, 2011.

TRANSMISSIBLE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY REPORT UPDATE CANADA FEBRUARY 2011 and how to hide mad cow disease in Canada Current as of: 2011-01-31.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010.

Manitoba veterinarian has been fined $10,000 for falsifying certification documents for U.S. bound cattle and what about mad cow disease?

Thursday, August 19, 2010.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010.


Increased Atypical Scrapie Detections.

Press reports indicate that increased surveillance is catching what otherwise would have been unreported findings of atypical scrapie in sheep. In 2009, five new cases have been reported in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. With the exception of Quebec, all cases have been diagnosed as being the atypical form found in older animals. Canada encourages producers to join its voluntary surveillance program in order to gain scrapie-free status. The World Animal Health will not classify Canada as scrapie-free until no new cases are reported for seven years. The Canadian Sheep Federation is calling on the government to fund a wider surveillance program in order to establish the level of prevalence prior to setting an eradication date. Besides long-term testing, industry is calling for a compensation program for farmers who report unusual deaths in their flocks.

SUNDAY, JULY 27, 2008



Date: Sat, 14 Jun 2003 02:23:12 +0200



Northern Ireland Industry to be landed with £143,000 BSE testing bill under TSE changes Industry to be landed with £143,000 BSE testing bill under TSE changes

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

Variably protease-sensitive prionopathy (VPSPr), sporadic creutzfeldt jakob disease sCJD, the same disease, what if?

RRA&T 2 Senate Friday, 5 February 2010


[9.03 am]

BELLINGER, Mr Brad, Chairman, Australian Beef Association

CARTER, Mr John Edward, Director, Australian Beef Association

CHAIR—Welcome. Would you like to make an opening statement?

Mr Bellinger—Thank you. The ABA stands by its submission, which we made on 14 December last year, that the decision made by the government to allow the importation of beef from BSE affected countries is politically based, not science based. During this hearing we will bring forward compelling new evidence to back up this statement. When I returned to my property after the December hearing I received a note from an American citizen. I will read a small excerpt from the mail he sent me in order to reinforce the dangers of allowing the importation of beef from BSE affected countries. I have done a number of press releases on this topic, and this fellow has obviously picked my details up from the internet. His name is Terry Singeltary and he is from Bacliff, Texas. He states, and rightfully so:

You should be worried. Please let me explain. I’ve kept up with the mad cow saga for 12 years today, on December 14th 1997, some four months post voluntary and partial mad cow feed ban in the USA, I lost my mother to the Heinemann variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). I know this is just another phenotype of the infamous sporadic CJDs. Here in the USA, when USA sheep scrapie was transmitted to USA bovine, the agent was not UK BSE—it was a different strain. So why then would human TSE from USA cattle look like UK CJD from UK BSE? It would not. So this accentuates that the science is inconclusive still on this devastating disease. He goes on to state:

The OIE— the International Organisation of Epizootics, the arm of the WTO— is a failed global agent that in my opinion is bought off via bogus regulations for global trade and industry reps. I have done this all these years for nothing but the truth. I am a consumer, I eat meat, but I do not have to sit idly by and see the ignorance and greed of it all while countless numbers of humans and animals are being exposed to the TSE agents. All the USA is interested in is trade, nothing else matters.

Even Dr Stanley Prusiner, who incidentally won the Nobel Health Prize in 1997 for his work on the prion—he invented the word ‘prion’, or it came from him—states:

The BSC policy was set up for one purpose only, trade—the illegal trading of all strains of TSE globally throughout North America, which is home to CBSC, IBSC and HBSC, many scrapie strains and two strains of CJD to date. (please note typo error, those should have read cBSE, lBSE, and hBSE...tss) 

Terry S. Singeltary Sr. 3/16/2010

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA Hansard Import restrictions on beef FRIDAY, 5 FEBRUARY 2010

atypical bse, AUSTRALIA, HANSARD, mad cow disease, SINGELTARY, SPORADIC CJD

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home