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

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

Chronic Wasting Disease Update

CWD Update 88 August 31, 2007

State and Provincial Updates

Illinois: Paul Shelton, Illinois Department of Natural Resources provides the following: During July, IDNR identified a CWD-positive deer in LaSalle County after testing an animal showing classic signs of the illness. This was the first instance of the disease in this county. The deer was a 3 year old doe collected by a Conservation Police Officer after someone reported a sick, emaciated deer. The location was south of I-80, about 2 miles west of Grundy County, near the town of Seneca. This represents about a 25 mile distance from the previous southernmost positive in DeKalb County. Staff from the Division of Wildlife Resources are assessing the implications of the finding.

The total number of CWD-infected deer found in Illinois now numbers 189. Prior to this, the disease had been confined to Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Ogle, and DeKalb counties. More than 28,000 deer have been tested in Illinois during the past 5 years. Illinois DNR CWD information is available at: https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/programs/CWD/Pages/default.aspx.

Editor’s note: This finding in LaSalle County is a significant departure from the previously known distribution in Illinois. The new location is the first deer detected in the Illinois River basin, which winds southwest through Illinois towards St. Louis.

New Mexico: Press Release from New Mexico Game and Fish (August 28, 2007):

LAS CRUCES: New Mexico recorded its 19th case of chronic wasting disease in deer in a sick animal found in the Bishop’s Cap area of the Organ Mountains. Officer Richard McDonald investigated a report of an emaciated deer July 12. The animal was unaware of human presence, chronically thirsty, urinating often, and staying in and near a water source. Officer McDonald followed the state’s protocol for disease surveillance by killing the animal and sending it to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Albuquerque for testing. Based on the symptoms and the area from which the deer came, the laboratory was instructed that chronic wasting disease (CWD) was highly probable. Laboratory diagnostic testing confirmed presence of CWD in this deer. This is the 19th deer with confirmed CWD found since it was first detected in New Mexico in 2002. Two elk have also been found with CWD.

This deer was in Game Management Unit 19, where special CWD restrictions already exist for hunters. Anyone who finds a deer or elk that appears unaware of human presence and displays symptoms including droopy ears, emaciation, chronic thirst, frequent urination, and reluctance to leave water, should report their observations to the Department of Game and Fish, Wildlife Management Division, (505) 476-8127. New Mexico Game & Fish CWD information is at: www.wildlife.state.nm.us/conservation/disease/cwd/index.htm.

Press Release is at: www.wildlife.state.nm.us/publications/press_releases/documents/2007/082807releases.htm#CWD.

Recent Publications

Efficient In Vitro Amplification of Chronic Wasting Disease PrPRES

Timothy D. Kurt, Matthew R. Perrott, Carol J. Wilusz, Jeffrey Wilusz, Surachai Supattapone, Glenn C. Telling, Mark D. Zabel, and Edward A. Hoover Journal of Virology, September 2007, p. 9605-9608, Vol. 81, No. 17

Abstract: Chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervids is associated with conversion of the normal cervid prion protein, PrPC, to a protease-resistant conformer, PrPCWD. Here we report the use of both nondenaturing amplification and protein-misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) to amplify PrPCWD in vitro. Normal brains from deer, transgenic mice expressing cervid PrPC [Tg(cerPrP)1536 mice], and ferrets supported amplification. PMCA using normal Tg(cerPrP)1536 brains as the PrPC substrate produced >6.5 x 109-fold amplification after six rounds. Highly efficient in vitro amplification of PrPCWD is a significant step toward detection of PrPCWD in the body fluids or excreta of CWD-susceptible species. jvi.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/81/17/9605?etoc.


Ultrasensitive detection of scrapie prion protein using seeded conversion of recombinant prion protein

Ryuichiro Atarashi, Roger A Moore, Valerie L Sim, Andrew G Hughson, David W Dorward, Henry A Onwubiko, Suzette A Priola & Byron Caughey Nature Methods – 4, 645 – 650 (2007)

Abstract: The scrapie prion protein isoform, PrPSc, is a prion-associated marker that seeds the conformational conversion and polymerization of normal protease-sensitive prion protein (PrP-sen). This seeding activity allows ultrasensitive detection of PrPSc using cyclical sonicated amplification (PMCA) reactions and brain homogenate as a source of PrP-sen. Here we describe a much faster seeded polymerization method (rPrP-PMCA) which detects greater than or equal to50 ag of hamster PrPSc (approximately0.003 lethal dose) within 2–3 d. This technique uses recombinant hamster PrP-sen, which, unlike brain-derived PrP-sen, can be easily concentrated, mutated and synthetically tagged. We generated protease-resistant recombinant PrP fibrils that differed from spontaneously initiated fibrils in their proteolytic susceptibility and by their infrared spectra. This assay could discriminate between scrapie-infected and uninfected hamsters using 2-mul aliquots of cerebral spinal fluid. This method should facilitate the development of rapid, ultrasensitive prion assays and diagnostic tests, in addition to aiding fundamental studies of structure and mechanism of PrPSc formation. www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/v4/n8/abs/nmeth1066.html.


The following two articles are from the June 2007 edition (Volume 1772, Issue 6) of the journal Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Molecular Basis of Disease. This special edition of the journal, edited by Glenn Telling, is devoted to prion-related disorders and is available at: www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09254439.

Chronic Wasting Disease (review)

Christina J. Sigurdson and Adriano Aguzzi Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1772 (2007) 610–618

Abstract: Until recently, chronic wasting disease of cervids, the only prion disease affecting wildlife, was believed to be geographically concentrated to Colorado and Wyoming within the United States. However, increased surveillance has unveiled several additional pockets of CWD-infected deer and elk in 12 additional states and 2 Canadian provinces. Deer and elk with CWD have extensive aggregates of PrPSc not only in the central nervous system, but also in peripheral lymphoid tissues, skeletal muscle, and other organs, perhaps influencing prion shedding. Indeed, CWD is transmitted efficiently among animals by horizontal routes, although the mechanism of spread is unknown. Genetic polymorphisms in the Prnp gene may affect CWD susceptibility, particularly at codon 225 (S/F) in deer and codon 132 (M/L) in elk. Since CWD infects free-ranging animals and is efficiently spread, disease management will be a challenge.


Motor behavioral and neuropathological deficits in mice deficient for normal prion protein expression

Karah E. Nazora, Tanya Sewarda and Glenn C. Telling Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1772 (2007) 645–653

Abstract: It has been difficult to reconcile the absence of pathology and apparently normal behavior of mice lacking prion protein (PrP), referred to as Prnp0/0 mice, with a mechanism of prion pathogenesis involving progressive loss of PrPC-mediated neuroprotection. However, here we report that Prnp0/0 mice exhibit significant age-related defects in motor coordination and balance compared with mice expressing wild type Prnp on a syngeneic background, and that the brains of behaviorally-impaired Prnp0/0 mice display the cardinal neuropathological hallmarks of spongiform pathology and reactive astrocytic gliosis that normally accompany prion disease. Consistent with the appearance of cerebellar ataxia as an early symptom in patients with Gerstmann–Sträussler–Scheinker syndrome (GSS), an inherited form of human prion disease, motor coordination and balance defects manifested in a transgenic (Tg) mouse model of GSS considerably earlier than the onset of end-stage neurodegenerative disease. Our results are consistent with a mechanism in which loss of normal PrPC function is an important pathological component of prion diseases.