Deer hunters asked for samples to track fatal brain disease

In this April 2015, file photo, white-tailed deer hang out near the multi-use trail on Power Dam Drive near Vincent Massey Drive in Cornwall, Ont. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is asking hunters to allow them to take tissue samples to track for chronic wasting disease. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

KEMPTVILLE – Hunters in Eastern Ontario are being asked to submit samples from the deer they harvest this fall as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry monitors for chronic wasting disease.

The brain disease is deadly and there’s no cure for the ailment that targets the deer family – deer, elk, moose and caribou.

The wildlife management unit in Eastern Ontario (65) is among eight Ontario areas that are monitored from October through December.

Ministry officials will be visiting hunt camps and hunters to ask to take a sample from deer heads for analysis. Also, hunters can head to their nearest MNRF freezer depot where a sample can be taken.

The ministry notes the sampling, which is voluntary, won’t affect the meat or prevent the hunter from mounting the head.

For their tissue sample, hunters will be given a participation crest.

The MNR says it collected 449 samples last year with no detection of chronic wasting disease.