Keeping Alberta Affordable: Eligible seniors and families with children under 18 can apply for $600 affordability payments. Learn more and apply now

Chronic Wasting Disease in wildlife

Alberta hunters play an important role in monitoring for chronic wasting disease, a serious illness that kills members of the deer family.


Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a prion disease that infects members of the wild and farmed deer family. Once established, it is very difficult to control and is fatal in all cases. There is no treatment or vaccine. Prevention is the best solution, but early aggressive response is recommended when new incidents of CWD are detected.

Range of infection

  • In western North America, CWD primarily occurs in wild mule deer, farmed elk and farmed white-tailed deer.
  • In eastern regions, CWD is found in wild and farmed white-tailed deer and farmed elk.
  • Transmission occurs from deer to deer and in certain situations may involve environmental contamination.
  • There is no evidence that CWD infects humans or non-cervid livestock, but health authorities recommend taking precautions.

Was this page helpful?

All fields are required unless otherwise indicated.

Your submissions are monitored by our web team and are used to help improve the experience on