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Wildlife Branch


Anthrax in Wildlife

Instances of Anthrax have been found in cattle within the Rural Municipality of Stuartburn which is situated in Game Hunting Area 35A.

Anthrax is a disease mainly of cattle, sheep and horses and is caused by a bacteria found in the soil. Any warm blooded animal, including wildlife and humans, can contract the disease. Infection results when the bacteria or spores produced by the bacteria enter the body.

There is a minimal risk of shooting a wild animal that is infected with the disease because few are likely to be infected and, if they are, they will become acutely sick and die in a very short time.

The risk of human infection in the outdoors is extremely unlikely. Humans are relatively resistant to the infection but if infected, generally get only a skin infection. Anthrax in humans is treated with antibiotics.

People in the outdoors can minimize risk by taking the following precautions:

If you see a dead deer, elk or bear in the identified area:

  • Do not handle the animal;
  • Do not approach the animal; and
  • Note the location of the animal for reporting purposes.

While hunting do not attempt to harvest any animal which shows any abnormal behaviour or appears to be in poor health.

When field dressing an animal:

  • If the carcass appears to be abnormal in any way, stop cleaning the animal and contact the nearest Manitoba Conservation office (Steinbach office – 346-6110) or the Federal District Veterinarian (983-2219).
  • If you have a cut or skin abrasion, do not expose the injury to the animal’s bodily fluids (wear rubber gloves) – if a cut or abrasion is exposed to bodily fluids and an infection results, consult a physician.

To further reduce risk, it is a good idea to cook meat well in the very unlikely instance that an infected, healthy looking animal is harvested.

Hunters may consider selecting an alternative hunting area.

Manitoba Conservation is asking for the cooperation of hunters and others in this area who find any deer, elk or bear. The location and species should be reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship office in Steinbach (204-346-6110) or the Federal District Veterinarian (204-983-2219).