Carcass Transportation Regulations in the United States and Canada

cwd_mapDownload the full Chronic Wasting Disease and Cervidae Regulations in North America. [PDF]

The number one objective in the management of CWD is to prevent its spread into new areas. One theoretical mode of disease transmission is via infected carcasses. Therefore, in an effort to minimize the risk of disease spread, a number of states have adopted regulations affecting the transportation of hunter-harvested deer and elk.

Since the suspected infective agent (prion) is concentrated in the brain, spinal cord and lymph glands, the most common regulation is the prohibition of the importation of whole carcasses harvested from CWD areas. Some states, like Colorado, also have established regulations addressing the transport of deer and elk out of CWD areas. Generally, states that have adopted carcass transportation regulations do not allow the importation of any brain or spinal column tissue and allow transport of only the following:

  • Meat that is cut and wrapped (either commercially or privately).
  • Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.
  • Meat that has been boned out.
  • Hides with no heads attached.
  • Clean (no meat or tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached.
  • Antlers with no meat or tissue attached.
  • Upper canine teeth, also known as "buglers," "whistlers," or "ivories."
  • Finished taxidermy.

A summary of state-by-state carcass transportation regulations is provided in Column J of the regulations on each state page (accessible from the home page) or on the map. Since these regulations are continually evolving, it is recommended that before hunting you check the CWD regulations in your home state, the state in which you will be hunting and states in which you will travel through en route home from your hunting area. Most state wildlife agencies provide regulations information on their websites, and may be accessed via the clickable map on the home page.

The Carcass Transport and Disposal Working Group of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) Fish and Wildlife Health Committee developed the following guidelines for regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to carcass transport and disposal. The intent of the working group is to encourage states to adopt policies that minimize risk; do not hinder hunting, wild cervid population management, or disease control; are easily understood; and promote compliance because they are consistent and well-justified. The recommendations are based on current knowledge of CWD and may be updated when new information becomes available. The Working Group recognizes state wildlife management agencies will tailor their approach to fit individual concerns and situations, and asks that agency directors, through AFWA, give serious and urgent consideration to this matter so that this potential risk of CWD spread can be minimized.

Transport and Disposal of Hunter-killed Cervid Carcasses: Recommendations to Wildlife Agencies to Reduce Chronic Wasting Disease Risks [PDF]

US Legislation

---April 6, 2004---
Senate Hearing on S1366 - Chronic Wasting Disease Financial Assistance Act of 2003

Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water
April 6, 2004

CWD Alliances’ Testimony PDF document
Other Testimony

---January 9, 2004---
S 2007 - BSE and Other Prion Disease Prevention and Public Health Protection Act

To provide better protection against bovine spongiform encephalopathy and other prion diseases.
S 2007 PDF document
S 2007 Word document

---June 19, 2003---
Congressional Hearing on HR 2057

U.S. House of Representatives
House Resources Committee
Subcommittees on Forests and Forest Health, and
Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans
Thursday, June 19, 2003

Testimony

---June 9, 2003---
HR 2431 - Chronic Wasting Disease Task Force Establishment Act of 2003 (Introduced in House)

To establish a National Chronic Wasting Disease Task Force, and for other purposes.
HR2431 Word document

---June 9, 2003---
HR 2430 - Chronic Wasting Disease Research, Monitoring, and Education Enhancement Act of 2003 (Introduced in House)

To amend the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act to coordinate and strengthen scientific research and monitoring, and to promote public outreach, education, and awareness, of Chronic Wasting Disease affecting free-ranging populations of deer and elk, and for other purposes.
HR2430 Word document

---June 9, 2003---
S 1366 - Chronic Wasting Disease Financial Assistance Act of 2003 (Introduced in Senate)

To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to make grants to State and tribal governments to assist State and tribal efforts to manage and control the spread of chronic wasting disease in deer and elk herds, and for other purposes.
S1366 PDF document | Word document

---June 9, 2003---
HR 2636 - Chronic Wasting Disease Financial Assistance Act of 2003 (Introduced in House)

To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to make grants to State and tribal governments to assist State and tribal efforts to manage and control the spread of chronic wasting disease in deer and elk herds, and for other purposes.
HR2636 PDF document | Word document

---May 9, 2003---
S 1036 - Chronic Wasting Disease Support Act of 2003

Introduce in the Senate May 9, 2003 by Senator Allard (CO)
S1036 Word document
S1036 PDF document

---May 9, 2003---
HR 2057 - Chronic Wasting Disease Support for States Act of 2003

Introduced in the House of Representatives May 9, 2003 by Rep. McInnis (CO)
HR2057 Word document
HR2057 PDF document

---April 18, 2003---
FY 2004 Budget - Conservation Organizations Request Congressional Support for CWD

24 organizations sign letter requesting funding for National CWD Plan- April 18, 2003
Letter Word document

---May 16, 2002---
Congressional Hearing on Chronic Wasting Disease

U.S. House of Representatives
House Resources Committee
Subcommittees on Forests and Forest Health, and
Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans
May 16, 2002
CWD Alliances’ Testimony PDF document | Word document

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Category Archives: National News

Chronic Wasting Disease Update

Download Update 93.

USDA and Colorado State University Researchers Develop First Live Test for Chronic Wasting Disease in Elk

FORT COLLINS, Colo., –Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Colorado State University (CSU) recently completed their third year of evaluating and validating the first live rectal-tissue biopsy method for detecting chronic wasting disease (CWD) in captive and wild elk. To date, researchers have collected over 1,500 biopsies from captive elk in Colorado and used the technique to find 15 elk that were positive for CWD. As compared to proven post-mortem diagnostic tests, this live test appears to be nearly as accurate. “The key advantage to the rectal biopsy test is that it can be performed on live animals. Until now, there was no practical live test for CWD in elk,” said research wildlife biologist Dr. Kurt VerCauteren with APHIS’ Wildlife Services (WS) National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC). “With this technique we can detect CWD in animals not showing any signs of the disease and, thus, remove them so they are not left to infect other individuals and further contaminate the environment.”

The research is a collaborative effort between APHIS’ WS and Veterinary Services programs, the Agricultural Research Service, and the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory within the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The majority of the research was conducted on the Velvet Ridge Elk Ranch, owned by Dennis and Stephanie White, near Fort Collins, Colo. In 2002, an elk on the ranch was confirmed to have CWD and since that time the Whites have worked closely with NWRC and other collaborators to learn more about CWD and to develop methods to manage it in captive and wild settings. “The use of this new live test in the initial screening, surveillance and monitoring of CWD will greatly aid in the management and control of the disease in the wild, as well as in captive settings,” said VerCauteren. CWD is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy whereby abnormal proteins accumulate in the central nervous and lymphatic systems of infected animals causing a degenerative lack of control and a “wasting-away” death. Currently, there is no cure for CWD.

CWD has been reported in captive and free-ranging mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. CWD has been a devastating disease to the captive elk industry. An estimated 12,000-14,000 captive elk have been killed in the western United States and Canada in the past 7-8 years to control CWD. Several thousand free-ranging mule deer, white-tailed deer and elk also have been killed in attempts to reduce the disease in the wild.

The NWRC is the research arm of USDA’s WS program. It is the federal institution devoted to resolving problems caused by the interaction of wild animals and society. The center applies scientific expertise to the development of practical methods to resolve these problems and to maintain the quality of the environments shared with wildlife. To learn more about NWRC, visit its Web site.

Chronic Wasting Disease Update

Download update 90 (PDF)

Chronic Wasting Disease Update

Download update (PDF)

3rd International CWD Symposium Slated

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) will host the 3rd International Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Symposium in the summer of 2009, reports the Wildlife Management Institute. It will be held July 22-24, 2009, at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Park City, Utah. Utah is the westernmost state to discover CWD in its free-ranging mule deer population.

According to event coordinators Leslie McFarlane, Wildlife Disease Program Coordinator for UDWR, and Mary Conner, Research Assistant Professor at Utah State University, the 2009 Symposium will address the latest CWD research and management findings and will provide a forum for wildlife agencies to present updates on the status, surveillance and management of CWD in North America.

Although the symposium program schedule has not been finalized, an invitation for special session topics and panel or paper presentations will be sent out to CWD experts, managers and researchers within the next two weeks. For more information or to submit session topics, contact Dr. Conner