Chronic Wasting Disease Sample Submission - Farmed Elk

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a reportable disease under the federal Health of Animals Act and the Manitoba Animal Diseases Act and Regulations. Elk producers who suspect a case of CWD must contact their veterinarian.  
Veterinarians who would like more information about Manitoba Farmed Elk CWD Program are encouraged to contact the Animal Health and Welfare Branch at 204-945-7663. Please call this number before samples arrive at Veterinary Diagnostics Services (VDS).
The following information can also be downloaded as a factsheet (PDF 589 KB).

Collection and Submission 

Clients have the option of submitting heads to VDS. The cost of collecting the sample from a head is $19. Currently, the Animal Health and Welfare branch will cover the cost under the Manitoba Farmed Elk CWD Program. 
Obex and retropharyngeal lymph nodes may also be collected by the herd veterinarian. If there is an interest in learning how to accurately remove obex and retropharyngeal lymph nodes, please contact VDS at 204-945-8220 or to make arrangements for a training session.
Samples must be accompanied by the ovine/caprine/camelid/cervid submission form which can be accessed on the VDS website.
All submission forms must include the following information:
       - referring referring veterinarian and referring clinic's name 
       - owner's full name and address, which includes legal land location and town or                
         premises identification number
       - animal identification
       - samples submitted (indicating types of samples and number of samples)
       - test

Head Submission

Heads should be double-bagged prior to delivery to VDS to prevent leakage. A tag on the outside of the bag should have the animal identification number. Heads can be submitted frozen unless they can be kept cool and submitted to VDS within a day of death. 

Obex and Retropharyngeal Lymph Node Submission

Obex and retropharyngeal lymph nodes should be placed in a leak proof plastic container. Use a Styrofoam box or adequate packing material to protect the samples during transit, and place it in a secondary container such as a cardboard box. Ice packs should be used in hot weather. The outside of the box should be clearly labeled with the clinic’s information.
Place the submission form in a plastic bag taped to the outside of the box. Paperwork should never be in close contact with the sample.


VDS will report test results to the Manitoba Farmed Elk CWD Program and to the referring veterinarian. 


For more information, or if you suspect any animal health related concerns, please contact the Chief Veterinary Office or call 204-945-7663 in Winnipeg.