This article was first published 30.03.2017
It was in 2016 that the Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI) diagnosed CWD in wild reindeer in this region. This was the first time CWD was detected outside North America and South Korea, and the first time it was detected in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus). The region includes the municipalities Aurland, Laerdal, Hemsedal, Hol, Al and Ulvik. Shortly after two moose (Alces alces) were diagnosed with the disease in a different region, further up north in the municipality of Selbu, Trøndelag County.
− VKM’s report recommendation to slaughter the reindeer herd from the area of Nordfjella is in line with the Norwegian Veterinary Institute`s previously stated scientific opinion. This constitutes a drastic and serious measure, but this must be weighed against the possible consequences of this the disease spreading further, says researcher and CWD coordinator Jørn Våge from the Norwegian Veterinary Institute. –The full effect of such a measure in holds some uncertainty, but the knowledge we have today requires us to adopt a precautionary approach. If the disease in reindeer is limited to the region in
–The full effect of such a measure in holds some uncertainty, but the knowledge we have today requires us to adopt a precautionary approach. If the disease in reindeer is limited to the region in
Våge emphasizes that there is considerable uncertainty associated with CWD in Norway after last year's detections. He says monitoring and further research are essential to ensure proper management.
Research on CWD at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute
NVI is already working on several research projects that will provide essential knowledge for the best possible management of this disease in Norway. Projects include an understanding of the spread of CWD, the differences between different varieties of the disease in reindeer and moose, understanding of the genetic prerequisites for infection in Norwegian animal stocks and the development of an in vivo CWD-test.
In 2016 the monitoring work on CWD intensified, and NVI tested more than10, 000 samples from different deer species in Norway. Wild reindeer from the bordering districts of the region Nordfjella have also been examined, but so far, no CWD-infected animal has been found in these areas. Since the sample size is still too low, one
Monitoring of CWD will continue in 2017. NVI has long experience in diagnostics, research, and management of infectious diseases in both livestock and wildlife, and will continue assisting the official authorities with this demanding task in the coming years.