POLITICS

Officials say another 23 dead bison carcasses found in Northwest Territories

07/09/2012 09:02 EDT | Updated 09/08/2012 05:12 EDT
FORT PROVIDENCE, N.W.T. - Twenty-three more bison carcasses have been found near Fort Providence in the Northwest Territories.

Last week, the territorial government warned people to stay away from 128 dead bison that were found at Mills Lake during a routine flight to monitor anthrax.

On Monday, the government said in a news release that several of the new carcasses were found near Caen Lake.

Disposal teams began burning some of the carcasses on the weekend, following Environment and Natural Resources protocol.

Lab results from samples of carcasses found in Mills Lake are expected to be received from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency next week.

A reconnaissance flight of the area is planned for Wednesday.

The N.W.T. Environment Department has activated its anthrax emergency response plan as a precaution _ anyone who discovers a carcass is asked to notify officials.

Humans can develop skin, respiratory or intestinal infections if they contract anthrax from an infected animal.

Anthrax can be fatal but is controllable if promptly treated with antibiotics.

The disease is caused by a bacteria that, once introduced into an area, leaves spores that can remain viable in the soil for many years.

Under certain conditions such as wet weather followed by a hot, dry spell, the spores become concentrated in low-lying areas. Bison usually contract the disease by inhaling contaminated soil while they are wallowing in dust baths.

Anthrax is not normally spread from animal to animal.

There have been two documented outbreaks of anthrax in the Northwest Territories between 1962 and 2010.