CWD regulations in Arkansas

Due to the regular amending of regulations in Arkansas, it is recommended that before hunting you check these CWD regulations, as well as those of any other states or provinces in which you will be hunting or traveling through while transporting cervid carcasses. The contact information for Arkansas can be seen below:

Click a section to expand:


FOR NATIONAL REGULATIONS GO HERE

Testing Laboratories in Arkansas

Sorry, our records do not show any CWD testing laboratories in your state, if you find this to be in error, please contact us.

Locations Where CWD Was Found

Counties (Accurate as of 2/2016)

Newton and Boone counties

Most Recent CWD News

  • All
  • 2
  • 3
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • JASPER – Six more deer from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s chronic wasting disease sampling effort have turned up positive, according to the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Madison. This brings the total of CWD-positive cases of Arkansas deer and elk to 56.

    All six

    Read More
  • LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has received 27 more positive cases of chronic wasting disease from a recent batch of samples taken in northern Newton County. This brings the total number of CWD-positive deer and elk cases in Arkansas to 50.

    Although
    Read More
  • LITTLE ROCK – Bad news continues to roll in from north Arkansas amid the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s efforts to find the prevalence rate of chronic wasting disease in the area where the disease initially was detected. Results from last week’s tests revealed an additional

    Read More
  • LITTLE ROCK – A second white-tailed deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The disease is fatal to deer and elk.

    The second positive CWD test came from a deer north of Mt. Sherman at Camp Orr.

    Read More
  • LITTLE ROCK – A white-tailed deer in Ponca recently tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The disease is fatal to deer and elk.

    The positive CWD test from a deer comes on the heels of an elk near
    Read More
  • An elk harvested near Pruitt on the Buffalo National River during the October 2015 hunting season tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. This is the first time an animal in Arkansas has tested positive for the disease,
    Read More
load more hold SHIFT key to load all load all

Category Archives: Arkansas

Chronic wasting disease confirmed in one Arkansas elk

An elk harvested near Pruitt on the Buffalo National River during the October 2015 hunting season tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

This is the first time an animal in Arkansas has tested positive for the disease, which is fatal to elk and whitetailed deer. To discuss the development, the Commission called a special meeting for 5:30 p.m. at the AGFC’s main office, 2 Natural Resources Drive, in Little Rock.

The AGFC created a CWD response plan in 2006, as the disease was appearing in other states.

“Several years ago, Arkansas proactively took measures to put a testing procedure in place and created an emergency CWD plan,” said Brad Carner, chief of the AGFC Wildlife Management Division. “Those precautions are now proving to be beneficial. We are in a strong position to follow the pre-established steps to ensure the state’s valuable elk and white-tailed deer herds remain healthy and strong.”

To determine how prevalent the disease may be, samples from up to 300 elk and white-tailed deer combined within a 5-mile radius of where the diseased elk was harvested will be tested. There is no reliable U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved test for CWD while the animals are alive. The AGFC will work with the National Park Service and local landowners to gather samples for testing.

A multi-county CWD management zone will be established, and public meetings in the area will be scheduled as forums to discuss plans and to answer questions.

The number of positive samples collected, if any, will help AGFC biologists determine the prevalence of CWD, and will guide their strategy to contain it.

“Although CWD is a serious threat to Arkansas’s elk and white-tailed deer, we are not the first to deal with the disease,” said AGFC Director Mike Knoedl. “Our staff is prepared and, with help from the public, will respond with effective measures. We have learned from the experiences of 23 other states.”

Biologists don’t know how the disease reached northern Arkansas at this point. The local herd began with 112 elk from Colorado and Nebraska, relocated between 1981-85.

“(CWD) would have raised its ugly head a lot sooner than now,” said Don White, a wildlife ecologist at the University of Arkansas Agriculture Experiment Station in Monticello. “I think that it’s extremely unlikely that it came from those 112 elk.”

Biologists have tested 204 Arkansas elk for CWD since 1997; the 2½-year-old female was the only one with a positive result. The AGFC also has routinely sampled thousands of white-tailed deer across the state since 1998.

Samples from the diseased female elk were tested at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Madison, and verified by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.

There are no confirmed cases of CWD transmission from cervids to humans or to livestock,

“As far as we know, it’s not transmissible to humans at all,” said Sue Weinstein, state public health veterinarian for the Arkansas Department of Health. “In other states where they have CWD and they are studying this, they have found no human disease at all. To be on the safe side, it is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and by the Department of Health that you not eat meat from an animal that you know is infected with chronic wasting disease.”

CWD was first documented among captive mule deer in Colorado in 1967, and has been detected in 24 states and two Canadian provinces. It’s been found in the wild in 20 states and among captive cervids in 15 states.

The AGFC has taken several steps to prevent the disease from entering the state. The Commission established a moratorium on the importation of live cervids in 2002, and restricted the importation of cervid carcasses in 2005. It also set moratoriums on permits for commercial hunting resorts and breeder/dealer permits for cervid facilities in 2006, and on obtaining hand-captured white-tailed deer in 2012.

According to the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance, CWD affects only cervids (hoofed animals in the cervidae family such as deer, elk and moose). Biologists believe it is transmitted through feces, urine and saliva. Prions (abnormal cellular proteins) that carry CWD have an incubation period of at least 16 months, and can survive for years in organic matter such as soil and plants.

CWD affects the body’s nervous system. Once in a host’s body, prions transform normal cellular protein into an abnormal shape that accumulates until the cell ceases to function. Infected animals begin to lose weight, lose their appetite and develop an insatiable thirst. They tend to stay away from herds, walk in patterns, carry their head low, salivate and grind their teeth.

More information available at http://www.agfc.com/hunting/Pages/HuntingDeerCWD.aspx

Cervid carcass importation restrictions

In 2013, the AGFC adopted regulations to prevent CWD from spreading into the state through mishandled cervid carcasses. Cervids include any member of the Cervidae family, including white-tailed deer, elk, moose, red deer, sika deer, fallow deer, mule deer and caribou.

According to Code 05.26 of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Code Book, it is unlawful to import, transport or possess any portion of a cervid carcass originating from any area outside the boundaries of Arkansas, with the following exceptions:

Meat that has been completely deboned. Antlers, antlers attached to cleaned skull plates or cleaned skulls where no tissue is attached to the skull. Cleaned teeth. Finished taxidermy and antler products. Hides and tanned products. Other portions of deer originating from the land between the Mississippi River levees in Tennessee and Mississippi.

Deer or elk harvested in commercial wildlife hunting resorts in Arkansas may be transported or possessed only after a CWD sample is collected.

Commission Approves Emergency Ban on Cervid Carcass Importation

LITTLE ROCK – In an effort to minimize the risk of chronic wasting disease being brought into Arkansas, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission today passed an emergency ban on the importation of cervid carcasses. The ban goes into effect immediately.

In 2002, the AGFC passed a similar law making it illegal to import, ship, transport or carry into the state, by any means, any live member of the cervid family, including but not limited to white-tailed deer and elk.

The new ban makes it unlawful to import or possess in Arkansas a cervid carcass or carcass part from any area, as proclaimed by the AGFC, that has a known case of CWD or considered taken from a captive facility or within an enclosure.

One way that the disease can be transmitted is by infected carcasses. At this time, 23 states have adopted regulations affecting the transportation of hunter-harvested cervids.

Chronic wasting disease is a nervous system disease that has been observed in deer and elk in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and the two Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta. The disease causes damage to portions of the brain of the animal and there is no cure for the always-fatal disease.

There are, however, a few exceptions to the ban:

  • Meat that has the bones removed.
  • Meat that has no portions of the spinal column or head attached.
  • Antlers, antlers attached to cleaned skull plates, or cleaned skulls.
  • Cleaned teeth.
  • Finished taxidermy products.
  • Hides and tanned products.
  • Deer or elk harvested in commercial wildlife hunting resorts.

Arkansas Deer Herd Gets Clean Bill of Health

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas’ deer herd got a clean bill of health this week. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission had over 250 deer tested recently and none tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease.

Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, is a nervous system disease that has been observed in deer and elk in Colorado, Nebraska, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Kansas, Montana and Oklahoma. Very little is known about the disease. It causes damage to portions of the brain of the animal and there is no cure for the always-fatal disease.

“If this disease had entered the state, our management strategy would possibly change dramatically ,” said Donny Harris, the AGFC’s chief of wildlife management, “Our goal might be to depopulate the infected herds,” he added.

Deer were tested at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in Athens, Ga.

The AGFC last year passed a law making it illegal to import, ship, transport or carry into the state by any means any live member of the cervid family, including but not limited to white-tailed deer and elk. “Because of the inability to test live animals, CWD is quite possibly the worst thing we have seen on the wildlife front in recent times,” Harris said.

Deer and elk are not brought into Arkansas by the Game and Fish Commission, but some may be imported by citizens, including persons who operate wildlife parks and fee hunting operations. These practices are now illegal.

Although the disease doesn’t seem to affect humans or cows, an appearance in Arkansas would cost the state millions of dollars that would be focused on CWD research, surveillance and management. The Center for Disease Control has conducted a study of CWD and human risk and has stated: “The risk of infection with the CWD agent among hunters is extremely small, if it exists at all.”

According to Harris, the effort to eliminate the disease in Wisconsin costs the state around $20,000 a day and the costs are still growing. “There are also associated costs not figured in,” Harris explained. “Deer hunting contributes millions of dollars to the state and if you eliminate herds, then people don’t hunt. You lose the money hunters would spend on gas and groceries, besides costs directly associated with hunting,” he added.

Animals affected with the disease reveal progressive loss of body condition, behavioral changes, excessive salivation, increased drinking and urination, depression and eventually death. Although the exact method of transmission is unknown, it is known that CWD is transmitted from animal to animal. An interagency task force is currently drafting a management plan designed to guide the surveillance, testing and response should the disease be detected.

AGFC officials said although CWD is not known to be present anywhere in Arkansas, persons who find deer or elk dead from no apparent cause, like trauma, should immediately call the nearest AGFC office or personnel to report it. Reports can be made to the AGFC hotline, 1-800-482-9262.

Diseased Deer From Colorado Discovered at Arkansas Processing Plant

LITTLE ROCK – A deer killed in Colorado and brought to Arkansas for processing has been confirmed to have chronic wasting disease. The Arkansas hunter left a portion of the deer’s brain and spine in Colorado to be tested by the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

The results of that test were not known until after the deer was brought into Arkansas and left at the processing plant. As soon as Colorado authorities notified the hunter, he contacted the United States Fish and Wildlife Service who in turn contacted the AGFC. It was later discovered that the deer had already been processed when word came that it was infected.

Employees of the AGFC and the Livestock and Poultry Commission immediately contacted the processor to remove the deer meat. The meat was later incinerated.

Donny Harris, AGFC chief of wildlife management and the chairman of a statewide CWD task force, said that at no time was the public at any risk from the disease. “There is no connection between CWD and a health risk to humans. We were just being overly cautious when we had the meat destroyed,” Harris said.

The AGFC recently made permanent an emergency prohibition on the importation of live deer and elk into Arkansas. The ban does not include importation of harvested deer from other states.

The live animal ban was a result of concerns that captive wildlife populations may spread the devastating disease. No cases of the disease have been reported in Arkansas, but outbreaks have been reported in various parts of the country. The introduction and outbreak of CWD in other states have reportedly come from privately acquired elk and deer.

Chronic wasting disease is usually lethal to deer and elk. With CWD, the animal’s immune system is unable to fight off the disease, and the animal deteriorates or “wastes,” until death.

AGFC officials said although CWD is not known to be present anywhere in Arkansas, persons who find deer or elk dead from no apparent cause, like trauma, should immediately call the nearest AGFC office or personnel to report it. Reports can be made to the AGFC hotline, 1-800-482-9262.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!