Ottawa

Deer cull underway in Quebec to manage disease

Quebec’s Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks is planning to kill more than 300 deer to prevent chronic wasting disease from spreading.

It wants to prevent spread of chronic wasting disease in the Laurentian, Outaouais

The cull will take place over the next several weeks. (Gert Hilbink/Shutterstock)

Quebec's Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks is planning to kill more than 300 deer to prevent chronic wasting disease from spreading. 

The plan for the Outaouais and the Laurentians was announced at a press conference Thursday.

It comes after a deer raised on a farm north of Montreal was found to have the disease, which is similar to mad cow disease but occurs in deer and elk and is considered more infectious.

The department has already slaughtered 80 animals and none have tested positive for the disease.

The government is also cancelling hunting season for animals such as bears and partridge in certain areas of zones 10 East and 9 West until Nov. 18 as part of the effort to contain the disease.

Keith Munro, a biologist with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, said on CBC Radio's All In A Day Thursday  disease spreads relatively easily on these farms because animals are kept close together in the same area, giving them more exposure to potentially infected urine and saliva.

That's why his group has called for them to be phased out, with compensation for the farmers.

And now it's arrived... Chronic Wasting Disease. We'll tell you where it happened. And what can be done about it. 7:17

With files from Antoine Trépanier