Members of the SCA attended the CWD symposium put on by the International One Health Congress on June 22 in Saskatoon. This was a free workshop open to the public with many scientists presenting new findings on this prion disease. Although much of the presentations were very geared towards the other scientists and academics present, it was well worth attending for anyone interested in learning more about this disease. Some interesting highlights included
- Glenn Telling ran tests with the cwd discovered in Norway in two separate animals (reindeer and moose) and discovered these were two different strains from the CWD found in North America.
- Carlos Goncalo das Neves presented the Norwegian governments plan for handling the CWD present in one reindeer herd. They chose to eradicate the herd and reintroduce animals in 5 years to the remote mountain region they inhabited.
-Stephanie Czub presented on her on going Macaque study in Alberta which has been making news for the past year. An SCA member asked when this study would be published and peer reviewed and she says it is forthcoming. A similar study was published in the states with no animals infected and we were able to ask what the difference was between the studies. Among the differences she listed were animal ages, exposure quantities and different strains of the disease used.
We strongly encourage our members to attend workshops like this to learn as much as you can about this disease. Our annual AGM held each spring brings in many talented speakers in this area.
People often ask what does the SCA do? We are the voice of the farms, ranches and preserves when dealing with government and proposed regulations. After the symposium we met with government officials to review proposed policy changes. Our board members drove from up to five hours away to be present and voice their opinions or concerns for the benefit of this industry. This is all volunteer time and volunteer gas money. As always, we greatly appreciate our government officials working with us for a better future.