Alberta Government has not learned its lesson from BSE (mad cow disease)

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann issues the following release on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

“CWD is a fatal and incurable (prion) animal disease comparable to BSE (mad cow disease) in its potential to kill humans as well as severely damage our agricultural economy for decades.

UBS prion scientist Dr Neil Cashman said last month “We appear to be waiting till CWD is found in humans” before we take serious action on control and elimination of this incurable and fatal disease

”This BSE-related, decades-old prion disease travels from bodily fluids across the deer family. It is currently spreading across western Canada in the wild after originating on game farms. Studies have shown that it is transferable to monkeys who eat infected deer and elk meat. Much like CWD’s sister disease BSE, a variant disease could become transferable to humans and threaten lives. This should spur both federal and provincial governments to follow rigorous science-based control measures.

“Mad cow disease cost Alberta $10 billion in lost markets and over 200 lives. By not taking concerted action with the federal government Alberta’s NDP Government is putting our wildlife, hunters (including indigenous communities who rely on wild game), the agricultural industry (with potential boycotts) and potentially Albertans at risk.

 

It’s time for the NDP Government to follow through to keep Albertans safe. Have they not learned from the BSE crisis?”


David Swann to present petition urging Government to lift restrictions on rehabilitation of bears, other large wildlife

Dr. David Swann will present a petition signed by 3,234 Albertans urging the government to reassess protocols restricting rehabilitation of large wildlife:

Dr. David Swann and thousands of Albertans are calling upon the Minister of Environment and Parks to reassess, update, and complete written protocols for all species on which restrictions on rehabilitation or fostering are placed.

On the merits of the petition Swann stated, “We have a moral responsibility to help ensure the health of species in our ecosystem. Restricting rehabilitation permits prevents injured and orphaned animals from receiving the assistance and rehabilitation they need.”

If the government were to follow the advice of the petition it would allow wildlife specialists to intervene and provide medical assistance for large animals like bears, such as Russell the injured black bear south of Calgary.

Dr. Swann, along with petition organizers Lisa Dahlseide and Laurel Ambrose, will be available to media to take questions at 1:15 pm in the rotunda of the Alberta Legislature before question period.

Lisa Dahlseide is a wildlife biologist advocating for wildlife rehabilitation and for science to be reflected in wildlife management and policy. Laurel Ambrose is a member of Russell’s Private Advocacy Group (R-PAG), which spearheads wildlife rehabilitation advocacy initiatives.