A combined investment of up to $1.16 million to Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise (PREVENT) was announced today in Saskatoon, by Member of Parliament Brad Trost (Saskatoon—Humboldt). The funding, provided through federal and provincial governments, will help PREVENT identify methods to slow the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a progressive neuro-degenerative disease endemic to wildlife populations in the prairies.
“Chronic Wasting Disease has spread rapidly over the last decade,” said Andrew Potter, chief executive officer of PREVENT, in a release. “This disease continues to spread within wild cervid populations which has significant implications for rural populations and its presence has also had a negative impact on the alternative livestock industry. We are grateful to the federal and provincial governments for the support that they have provided for this initiative.”
CWD was identified as one of the primary reasons the alternative livestock market is estimated to have fallen 85% between 2001 and 2011.
“The Government of Canada is pleased to partner with PREVENT to help revitalize the alternative livestock industry in western Canada,” said MP Trost. “Investing in trials for a new vaccine that will help reduce the incidence of the single most prevalent disease among cervids, like elk, will help producers sustain their herds and remain competitive.”
The investment will help fund vaccine impact studies, and could result in the creation of a vaccine to prevent the spread of CWD in all cervids.
PREVENT is a not-for-profit vaccine research and development company based out of Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, University of Saskatchewan.