The Winnipeg Free Press newspaper is reporting that opposition MLA Len Derkach is calling on the province to increase its support to cattle ranchers battling to prevent infected deer and elk from transmitting the disease to their herds.
Derkach says ranchers in the area surrounding Riding Mountain National Park have been battling this problem for more than 30 years, but that the measures have basically boiled down to responding to the problem when it crops up, rather than dealing with the source.
He wants the province to require hunters in the area to submit organs from their kills for testing, so the province can find out if there are “hot spots” within the park and then take neccessary measures including culling sick animals.
Culling animals in the park has been a point of contention for years, but recently the park has moved to institute limited culls in known hot spots.
Conservation Minister Stan Struthers says the province has been appropriately addressing the problem and says the problem is a low-level endemic one, rather than an “explosion happening out there right now.”