Considers mass slaughter of reindeer to prevent the spread of infection

wild reindeerReindeer.Photo:

The whole wild population of around 2,000 animals in the Nordfjella Mountains can be killed to prevent the spread of the serious animal disease CWD (chronic wasting disease).

– It’s awfully dramatic. We’ve never done anything like that before. It does not say anything about this in the textbooks.

But based on the knowledge we have today, it is unfortunately necessary to remove the animals in order to get rid of CWD, says biologist Olav Strand of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) to NRK.

He is one of several of the foremost experts on CWD, also known as Chronic Wasting Disease, which has now been found in Geilo.

Whether all the wild reindeer of between 1,500 and 2,000 animals in the Nordfjella Mountains must be killed, is among the measures discussed at the meeting.

Experts fear that the disease may spread further to tame reindeer and other deer after three sick reindeer were found in the northern mountains south of Hemsedalfjell.

Researcher Lynne Ytrehus at NINA warns about dramatic consequences if the spread of the disease can not be stopped.

– This is a very bleak situation. I think of it as a creeping crisis that could be devastating for deer population within 50-150 years, he said.

Currently it is not applicable to shoot the reindeer on Hardangervidda, where there are between 10,000 and 12,000 reindeer.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today