The thousands of Pennsylvanians who hunt deer and elk in other states and Canadian provinces need to be mindful of a ban placed on importing certain cervid carcass parts by the Pennsylvania Game Commission in December 2005.
Fear of the spread of chronic wasting disease into Pennsylvania’s deer herd led to the ban for Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York (only the CWD containment area), South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia (only from Hampshire County), Wisconsin and Wyoming; as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The specific carcass parts, where the CWD prion (causative substance) concentrates in cervids, that cannot be brought back to Pennsylvania by hunters are the head, including brain, tonsils, eyes and retropharyngeal lymph nodes; spinal cord/backbone; spleen; skull plate with attached antlers, if visible brain or spinal cord material is present; cape, if visible brain or spinal cord material is present; upper canine teeth, if root structure or other soft material is present; any object or article containing visible brain or spinal cord material; unfinished taxidermy mounts; and brain-tanned hides.
Commission executive director Carl G. Roe noted that the prohibition does not limit the importation of the following animal parts originating from any hunter-harvested cervid in the quarantined states or area: meat, without the backbone; skull plate with attached antlers, if no visible brain or spinal cord material is present; tanned hide or raw hide with no visible brain or spinal cord material present; cape, if no visible brain or spinal cord material is present; upper canine teeth, if no root structure or other soft material is present; and finished taxidermy mounts.
Hunters who harvest a deer or elk where CWD is known to exist should follow that state’s wildlife agency’s instructions on how and where to submit the appropriate samples to have their animal tested.
If, after returning to Pennsylvania, a hunter is notified that his or her game tested positive for CWD, the hunter is encouraged to contact the commission for disposal recommendations.