Tennessee discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease affects out-of-state hunters

Department of Game and Inland FisheriesThe Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency reported the discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease for the first time in their state on Dec. 14.

Thus far, 10 deer from Fayette and Hardeman Counties have tested positive for CWD in Tennessee. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) is being proactive in protecting Virginia’s deer population from CWD by adding the entire state of Tennessee to the list of carcass restriction zones.

Whole deer carcasses and certain parts of a deer may not be brought back into Virginia from these areas. Starting on Dec. 21, deer carcasses were not to be imported into Virginia from anywhere in Tennessee.

Prohibiting the entry of whole deer carcasses and certain deer parts into Virginia minimizes the risk of spreading CWD into new areas of the Commonwealth.

The only deer parts that can legally be brought into Virginia from Tennessee include boned-out or quartered meat, hides or capes with no skull attached, cleaned skulls or skull plates with no attached tissue (with or without attached antlers), clean antlers, or finished taxidermy products.

CWD has been detected in 26 states and four Canadian provinces. The disease is a slow, progressive neurological (brain and nervous system) disease found in deer, elk, and moose in North America.

The disease ultimately results in the death of all infected animals.

Although infected individuals may look completely normal for an extended period of time before becoming ill, symptoms exhibited by CWD-infected animals include, staggering, abnormal posture, lowered head, drooling, confusion, and marked weight loss.

There is no evidence that CWD can be naturally transmitted to humans, livestock, or pets; however, DGIF strongly advises against consuming meat from a known CWD-positive animal or from any game animal that appears ill prior to death.

Anyone who sees a sick deer that displays any of the signs described above should contact the DGIF Wildlife Conflict helpline at 1-855-571-9003 with accurate location information.

Please do not attempt to disturb or kill the deer before contacting DGIF.

More information on CWD can be found on the DGIF website at dgif.virginia.gov/cwd.


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