NDA Submits CWD Proposal Comments to Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

July 21, 2020 | by National Deer Alliance

The National Deer Alliance (NDA) recently submitted a letter to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) expressing support for proposed amended chronic wasting disease (CWD) regulations in Ontario, Canada. MNRF proposed regulation changes under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997 to implement additional measures reducing the risk that CWD may enter Ontario. NDA's mission is to serve as the guardian of wild deer conservation and our hunting heritage. One of our primary focus areas is policy that impacts deer and hunting, and one of our top priorities is deer diseases, and more specifically, CWD.

We applaud MNRF's leadership and willingness to attack this critical issue head-on as described in the proposal, and we also applaud the Ministry’s commitment to implementing the 2019 Chronic Wasting Disease Prevention and Response Plan. NDA fully supports MNRF’s efforts to prevent CWD in Ontario. Through our extensive work on this issue across North America, we know that moving deer, dead or alive, can facilitate the spread of CWD.

Prohibiting the import of live cervids and high-risk cervid parts and prohibiting movement of live captive cervids between locations within Ontario will reduce the risk that CWD may enter Ontario. Deer relocations led by wildlife agencies, movements between captive deer facilities given the absence of a reliable live animal test, and transport of carcasses by hunters who can't be immediately sure if their deer is infected all pose a risk of spreading CWD. We applaud MNRF’s diligent and thoughtful work in drafting a proposal that specifically addresses the spread of CWD.

Further, we support MNRF’s inclusion of hunters and other stakeholders in the disease management process. We urge MNRF to continue to increase stakeholder understanding of, support for, and participation in CWD prevention and management efforts. NDA stands ready to help MNRF, Ontario hunters, and wild deer in this perilous fight against CWD, which is an unrelenting opponent.