NOTE: Hunters may not bring whole deer carcasses into Alabama from other states or countries.
Importation of the following is allowed:
- Meat from the family Cervidae (white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose, fallow deer, red deer, sika deer, caribou, reindeer, etc.) that has been completely deboned.
- Cleaned skull plates with bare attached antlers, if no visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present.
- Unattached bare antlers or sheds.
- Raw capes, if no visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present.
- Upper canine teeth, if no root structure or other soft tissue is present.
- Finished taxidermy products or tanned hides.
- Velvet-covered antlers are prohibited unless part of a finished taxidermy product.
This page provides up-to-date facts on what is known about CWD and what is being done in Alabama to help prevent the disease from reaching our state.
What is CWD?
Chronic wasting disease is a fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of deer and elk. This disease belongs to a family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). The disease attacks the brains of infected deer and elk and causes animals to become emaciated (skinny), display abnormal behavior, lose bodily functions, and die. To date, CWD has been diagnosed in free-ranging or captive cervids in 25 states and three Canadian provinces. No cases of CWD have been found in Alabama.
Although a variety of species can be experimentally infected with CWD, there is currently no evidence that the disease can be spread naturally from cervids to livestock. CWD is not known to be transmissible to humans or domestic livestock.
Can people become sick from eating meat from a deer with CWD?
No case of human disease has been directly linked to CWD. Examination of the available data has led the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to conclude that there is no scientific evidence of CWD infecting humans. However, as a precaution, the WHO recommends people or other animals eat no part of a deer diagnosed with CWD. CDC now recommends hunters strongly consider testing deer taken from areas where CWD is known to exist prior to consuming the meat.
What is the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries doing to keep CWD from reaching our state?
The Division is currently taking several measures to help prevent CWD from reaching our state. The State has had a regulation banning the importation of all cervids (members of the deer family) into Alabama since 1973. Fines for violating this regulation are significant. The Division started an active monitoring program for CWD during the 2001-02 hunting season. Since then, nearly 8,000 deer have been tested and CWD has not been detected within Alabama.
Alabama's CWD Response Plan
Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries formalized a revised CWD Strategic Surveillance and Response Plan (SSRP) in January 2013 and updated the plan in July 2018. Download a copy below.