Chronic Wasting Disease

​Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease that affects deer, elk, reindeer, sika deer and moose. CWD has been reported in some areas of North America, including Canada and the United States, as well as in Norway and South Korea.

To date (as of Feb. 6, 2024), there have been no reported cases of CWD infecting people, however this possibility remains a concern. The World Health Organization recommended in 1997 that it is important to keep the agents of all known prion diseases from entering the human food chain.

What are prion diseases and what causes them?

Prion diseases are a group of rare, degenerative brain disorders seen in both humans and some animals. They lead to progressive brain damage and death.

Most scientists believe prion diseases are caused by an abnormal form of the prion protein, which induces changes of the normal form of prion protein present in all healthy humans and animals, most abundantly in the brain. The functions of prion proteins are still not completely understood.

For more information and up-to-date advice related to CWD, please visit:

Government of British Columbia: 

BC Centre for Disease Control: http://​​​​