U of A biologists determine when and where disease transmission between elk and cattle is most likely, develop guidelines to help ranchers prevent it.
Diseases transmitted from wildlife are a common threat to livestock and humans in Alberta, according to new research by University of Alberta biologists.
“One of the biggest risks to the livestock industry is the transmission of disease from wildlife to livestock,” said Mark Boyce, an ecologist in the Department of Biological Sciences.
Boyce said the long list of diseases that occur between livestock and wildlife includes anthrax, bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis, and many species of worms such as tapeworm and roundworm.
“And in addition to infecting one another, many of the diseases that are shared by wildlife and livestock are zoonotic, meaning that they also can infect humans,” he noted.
Boyce said the foothills in the southwestern part of the province are home to wild elk as well as cattle on ranchlands—and when the ...