GRENVILLE-SUR-LA-ROUGE | Ottawa will slaughter the 3,000 red deer at the Laurentian farm, where a disease has been detected that kills animals in a few months and can be transmitted to humans.
The Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food confirmed yesterday that the decision was made to eliminate the entire herd of the Harpur Farms company. “We have received information in this regard and are awaiting the procedures”, explained Yohan Dallaire Boily from MAPAQ.
Animals will be killed gradually.
They will be tested to find out if they are carriers of the disease. In this case, its carcass must be disposed of in a specialized place.
In addition to culling all cattle, the federal government may require Harpur Farms in Grenville-sur-la-Rouge to remove 10 inches of soil from certain parts of its land.
The land will be sent to a hazardous materials landfill, confirmed Elmehdi Haddou, a veterinarian at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
“There is no risk, there is no. We will never eradicate the protein and the disease. We want to control it,” said Haddou.
It is on this farm that the chronic wasting disease of deer was first detected in Quebec early last month.
This disease is comparable to mad cow disease. It is extremely resistant. When it manages to be transmitted in nature, it is practically impossible to get rid of it.
To date, no human cases of the disease have been documented.
However, it is not excluded that the pathogen can cross the species barrier and adapt to the human organism, as the prions did at the origin of mad cow disease, according to federal government researchers.
A federal government source confirms that the disease may have reached Quebec from the state of Minnesota.
Harpur Farms has a farm there that was infected in 2012 (see map). “This is one of the serious theses considered by the government, but there are others,” explained an anonymous source from the federal government.
The map shows the state of Minnesota, where the disease was detected in 2012 on a farm. It is this strain that may have infected the Quebec farm. The dots are where the disease occurs (red dots) and where it was present (yellow dots) in North America.
This does not mean that the disease arrived with an infected animal. It could have been transmitted through contaminated boots or clothing, says Dr. Haddou.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is in discussions with Harpur Farms at this time about financial compensation for uncontaminated animals that will be slaughtered.
The amount of compensation has not yet been determined.
10 days ago the government banned hunting in an area of 400 kmtwo around the farm.
But The newspaper could observe that animals in freedom are in contact with animals in captivity, as there is no double fence around the farm.
- It is a deadly disease, similar to mad cow disease, that is wreaking havoc on deer populations in western Canada and the United States.
- This disease results in rare and fatal progressive degenerative diseases of the brain.
- Currently incurable, they result from transformations of a protein called prion.
- The brains of humans and animals with prion disease suffer damage that leads to degeneration of the central nervous system.
- Indestructible, the disease-causing protein is spread through feces, body fluids, and direct contact. The spread can be through contaminated water or soil.
– With Anne-Caroline Desplanques