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Chronic wasting disease of deer and elk

Name change

2020-01-01: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's Chronic Wasting Disease Voluntary Herd Certification Program (CWD-VHCP) is now known as the Chronic Wasting Disease Herd Certification Program (CWD-HCP). Any reference to the VHCP in the following documents may be replaced with CWD-HCP.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a progressive, fatal nervous system disease that affects these animals, which are all part of the deer family known as cervids. It is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, or prion disease. It is contagious amongst cervids, like scrapie in sheep. There has been no known transmission of CWD to humans, however, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (also known as mad cow disease) in cattle has been known to cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans.

In Canada, CWD is a reportable disease under the Health of Animals Act, and all cases must be reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Information for cervid producers

Information for consumers

Information for hunters


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