Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – Member of Parliament Brad Trost (Saskatoon-Humboldt) today announced a combined investment of up to $1.16 million from the federal and Saskatchewan governments to Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise (PREVENT) to help develop a new vaccine against chronic wasting disease (CWD), which is affecting elk herds in Western Canada.
This investment will enable PREVENT to conduct vaccine impact studies and identify ways to slow down the spread of the disease. Successful trials could result in a vaccine that can be used to prevent the spread of CWD in all cervid species, deer, elk, moose and caribou, which are part of the alternative livestock industry in Western Canada.
- PREVENT is a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research that develops promising human and animal vaccine technologies.
- CWD (a progressive neuro-degenerative disease) is endemic to wildlife populations found in Saskatchewan and Alberta (and 22 states in the United States), resulting in significant losses to the alternative livestock and hunting-game industries.
- The industry estimates that the alternative livestock market fell 85 per cent between 2001 and 2011 primarily due to CWD and lost export markets.
- An effective vaccine capable of reducing the spread of CWD has the potential to help the industry rebound in Western Canada.
- A federal investment of up to $700,000 is being made through the Industry-led Research and Development stream of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, up to $698-million program under Growing Forward 2.
- The federal and Saskatchewan governments are also providing up to $463,000 under the cost-shared Growing Forward 2 Agriculture Development Fund.
“The Government of Canada is pleased to partner with PREVENT to help revitalize the alternative livestock industry in western Canada. Investing in trials for a new vaccine that will help reduce the incidence of the single most prevalent disease among cervids, like elk, will help producers sustain their herds and remain competitive.”
– MP Brad Trost (Saskatoon—Humboldt)
“This is an important area of research with the potential to address a significant issue facing our cervid producers. Our government is pleased to join the federal government in supporting PREVENT’s work toward developing an effective vaccine to control the spread of CWD.”
– Lyle Stewart, Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture
“Chronic Wasting Disease has spread rapidly over the last decade. This disease continues to spread within wild cervid populations which has significant implications for rural populations and its presence has also had a negative impact on the alternative livestock industry. We are grateful to the federal and provincial governments for the support that they have provided for this initiative.”
– Andrew Potter, Chief Executive Officer, PREVENT
Source Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada