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WHEREAS tuberculosis and brucellosis are both serious threats to domestic livestock and through many years and millions of dollars, Canadas domestic livestock population has been declared tuberculosis and brucellosis free;AND WHEREAS Wood Buffalo National Park contains wild bison that are known to have both tuberculosis and brucellosis, and no action has been taken to quarantine infected animals or destroy them; AND WHEREAS with the increase of bison producers expanding into the areas adjacent to the Wood Buffalo National Park infected wild herds of bison may come in contact with domestic bison or cattle, potentially resulting in an outbreak of the diseases in the domestic bison;AND WHEREAS an outbreak of tuberculosis or brucellosis in domestic bison and/or cattle would create a serious impact on beef and bison exports, as infected animals can find their way into the market, thereby putting the entire industry in jeopardy.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to work with the Federal Government to resolve the issue of the diseased Wood Buffalo National Park bison herd and to destroy all infected animals so as to alleviate the possible spread of tuberculosis or brucellosis to domestic bison or cattle.
Tuberculosis and brucellosis are bovine diseases that have been introduced into the wild herds of bison in Wood Buffalo National Park. Both of these diseases are viewed by Agriculture Canada as serious diseases in domestic livestock. Millions of dollars have been spent over several years in order to eradicate brucellosis in domestic herds. Brucellosis causes decreased milk production, weight loss in animals, loss of young, and infertility. The disease rapidly spreads through herds of animals through contact with aborted fetuses, placental membranes or fluids and other vaginal discharges present after an infected animal has aborted or calved. Producers may purchase infected animals, thereby introducing the disease into their herd. Brucellosis is also transferable to humans through improper handling of contaminated materials or ingesting raw milk containing the bucella bacteria. If brucellosis is reintroduced to the domestic bison or cattle industry through the diseased wild herds of bison coming into contact along the fence lines where domestic bison are contained, a serious economic impact will result. Export markets will be threatened and the entire bison/beef industry is at risk.
The AAMDC has no resolutions currently in effect with respect to this issue.