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Nature News
by Marlene Harris

Spring 2001   —   More Bad News for Saskatchewan Wildlife

While in Saskatchewan, it was reported that a wild mule deer was found to be infected with a chronic brain wasting disease, not unlike the dreaded mad cow disease. This particular deer’s condition, although known to infect domestic (ranched) deer, has never been reported in wildlife, and subsequently has wildlife officials questioning whether the disease has somehow spread beyond game ranches into the wild, a situation which could prove disastrous for the province’s wildlife.

Game ranching has always been considered to be a potential hazard to wildlife, as domestically raised animals carry all sorts of diseases, which unleashed upon defenseless wild counterparts, could be catastrophic, not unlike the potential results of unleashing introduced species into native populations.

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