RMNP Bovine Tuberculosis Update

– April 2015

An update on what’s going on re: RMNP’s active surveillance for bovine TB


TbSAC Meeting – December 2011

An update on Bovine Tb in the Riding Mountain National Park was held on December 5, 2011 in McCreary. Presented by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI), Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Manitoba Conservation and Parks Canada, this meeting addressed the current work being done by these respective agencies.

For those who were not able to make the meeting and would like to know more, we have made some of the presentations available in PDF format. To view them, please click on the links below.

More more information, contact Valerie at (204) 636-2085

What is TbSAC?

The Bovine Tuberculosis Stakeholders Advisory Committee (TbSAC) is a multi-stakeholder advisory committee, formed in 2003. It’s intent is to allow people and organizations impacted by Tb in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area to have input to the Manitoba Bovine Tb Management Program and its Implementation Plan. The Riding Mountain Biosphere Reserve chairs the group, and Parks Canada funds operating expenses.

For more information on the TbSAC, check out the Riding Mountain Biosphere Reserve’s article: Biosphere Reserve Chairs Bovine Tuberculosis Meeting

“The TbSAC has been very useful in bringing diverse local interests together to discuss the issues and help find solutions.”


MAFRI (Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiative)


TbSAC Stakeholders

  • The Manitoba Cattle Producers Association
  • The Parkland Producers Association
  • The Riding Mountain Landowners Association
  • The Riding Mountain Liaison Committee
  • The Manitoba Wildlife Federation
  • The Manitoba Lodge and Outfitters Association
  • The Riding Mountain Outfitters Association
  • Parkland Tourism/Tourism
  • Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
  • West Region Tribal Council
  • Local Depopulated Stakeholders
  • The Riding Mountain Biosphere Reserve (Chair and Secretariat) Ex-offico
  • Parks Canada
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Manitoba Agriculture and Food and Rural Initiatives
  • Manitoba Conservation

What is Tb?

Elk photo by Edna ArnoldElk photo by Edna Arnold

Bovine tuberculosis (Tb) is a contagious disease caused by Mycobacterium bovis bacteria. Cattle, bison, deer, elk, goats and other species including humans, can get the disease. Symptoms include lesions in the lungs, lymph nodes and other tissue as well as weight loss and general deterioration. Bovine Tb is chronic and eventually leads to death.

Bovine Tb is costly to the livestock industry, creates trade barriers and a human health threat.

Livestock and members of the deer family can get bovine Tb from saliva or airway secretions from one animal to another. They can also get the disease indirectly from eating and sharing contaminated feed. Tb bacteria thrives in cool, moist climates and can persist on hay or other feed for up to three months. Consumption of contaminated feed and nose to nose contact are presumed to be the primary means of transmission between animals.

Manitoba Tb Task Group

The Manitoba Tb Task Group is responsible for the design and delivery of a program that deals with bovine Tb in wildlife and the wildlife-livestock interface in the Riding Mountain Ecosystem. This group receives advice from the Scientific Review Committee whose role it is to provide scientific advice on the management of the Tb Program.

In response to these outbreaks, a multifaceted Manitoba Bovine Tuberculosis Management Program was prepared by the Task Group for Bovine Tuberculosis. The Task Group includes representatives from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Manitoba Agriculture and Food, Parks Canada, and Manitoba Conservation, in consultation with the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association and the Manitoba Wildlife Federation. While each agency and group is governed by its particular mandate, they are collaborating and cooperating to implement disease surveillance, eradication, and prevention measures directed at bovine TB in both agricultural animals and wildlife. Many of the experiences gained in combating this disease in the Riding Mountain area can be applied to the control of other diseases, such as a foreign animal disease (FAD).

[ More Info ]

What is being done to control Tb in RMEA?

  • Reducing the whitetailed deer and elk populations in RMNP.
  • Installing barrier fences to protect stored winter-feeding supplies.
  • Improving habitat in RMNP to entice elk/deer to stay in Riding Mountain National Park.
  • Enforcing Manitoba Conservation regulations on baiting wildlife for hunting and feeding purposes.
  • Studies to enhance knowledge of elk/deer movements and behaviors.
  • Surveillance of Tb in wild white-tailed deer and elk.
  • Surveillance of Tb in cattle and bison.

What can you do?

  • Be aware that wildlife-livestock interactions can create Tb risks for cattle.
  • Determine what may make your farm appealing to wildlife and make changes to reduce this appeal.
  • Store livestock feed securely.
  • Restrict wildlife access to feeding and watering areas.
  • Use livestock guard dogs.
  • Maintain fences.
  • Submit hunter samples for Tb testing, to assist in monitoring the disease in wildlife.

Tb Free Status


On September 19, 2006, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) declared livestock in the area around Manitoba‘s Riding Mountain National Park free of bovine tuberculosis (Tb). The region, referred to as the Riding Mountain TB Eradication Area (RMEA), had been the only part of Canada without Tb-free status.

Efforts continue to end the spread of Tb from infected wildlife to livestock.

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