Alberta Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann was in attendance at the Assembly of First Nations AGM in Ottawa today. There, a historic resolution was passed calling for a phasing out of game farming to stop the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (“CWD”) in Canada.
Swann stated, “I applaud this bold resolution from the AFN. CWD poses a huge agricultural, environmental, and economic threat to Alberta and Canada. It is especially dangerous to certain First Nations communities, threatening their way of life and their ability to live off the land.
“Game farming is how CWD has developed in cervids. This resolution is a partial measure to help prevent its spread and possible mutation into a more serious disease that could harm our agriculture industry and even pose a risk to human health.
“CWD is a fatal and incurable (prion) animal disease comparable to BSE (mad cow disease) in its potential to kill humans as well as severely damage our agricultural economy for decades. Given that Norway has banned the import of all hay and straw from any CWD infected region, it’s clear the time to take action is now.
“Federal and Provincial Governments must work cooperatively with First Nations to enshrine this resolution in law and on other strategies to combat CWD. They must make this an urgent priority.”
Dr. Swann is available for interview by phone.