Hunters should know the law, follow guidelines
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of cervids (deer species including white-tailed, black-tailed, mule, sika, moose, elk, and caribou). The disease attacks the brain of an infected animal causing it to become emaciated, display abnormal behavior, lose bodily functions, and eventually die. The introduction of this disease into the state could have significant impacts on Alabama’s deer herd.
The Alabama Department of Conservation reminds hunters that the importation of whole carcasses and certain body parts of any deer from any area outside of Alabama is prohibited. This includes all members of the family Cervidae, including but not limited to: white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose, caribou, fallow deer, axis deer, sika deer, red deer, and reindeer. The importation of body parts of any member of the family Cervidae is prohibited from all states, territories, or possessions of the United States and is also prohibited from all foreign countries. Violation of Alabama’s animal parts ban is a class C misdemeanor.
Importation of the following is allowed: deer meat that has been completely deboned; cleaned skull plates with attached antlers, if no visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; 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; and finished taxidermy products or tanned hides.
CWD has been found in captive and/or wild deer in 25 states, two Canadian provinces, Norway, and South Korea. It is not known to be transmissible to humans or domestic livestock. To date, there have been no positive tests for CWD in Alabama.
The following states and Canadian provinces are currently CWD-positive: Alberta, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Saskatchewan, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
ADCNR needs everyone’s support to maintain Alabama’s CWD-free status. To report the importation of live or harvested deer, call Operation GameWatch at 1-800-272-4263. If possible, provide a name and description of any suspects including vehicle description, license plate, and the time and location of the observation. Resident deer exhibiting signs of CWD can also be reported via GameWatch or by emailing DCNR.SickDeerReport@dcnr.alabama.gov.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.