by Meaghan English, TrueSouth Properties Wildlife Specialist
Along with mandatory game checks this upcoming deer season, another provision has been added to the mix. It is now illegal to bring any deer carcass into the state without first removing all brain and spinal cord tissues (or just cape out or debone the meat). This is very important for our local deer population because we are one of the few states that are not experiencing the traumatic effects of CWD.
It has been illegal to transport live deer across state lines for many years due to the potential of transmitting diseases and parasites, but now this law has been taken a step further. Chronic Wasting Disease stems from an abnormally formed protein that attacks the neurological aspects in white-tailed deer and elk mostly. It is transmitted through saliva, feces, urine and other bodily secretions (spinal and brain tissues as well). It is most deadly in free-ranging populations of deer and elk that share common areas. Once the Cervid has contracted the disease, muscle wasting begins to take place as well as excessive urination and salivation. The animal usually only survives a few months after contracting the disease, but can live up to one year. There is no cure for this disease, thus the importance of keeping this disease OUT of Alabama! This disease has no mercy and can quickly decimate a population. I know that many Alabama hunters travel to other states where CWD is prevalent and kill trophy bucks. Please cape out your deer before bringing it back home. This is the only way to really prevent the disease from getting into our state.
Chronic Wasting Disease is something that is very serious to free-ranging deer herds in North America. Luckily, Alabama is one of few states that have no reports of a CWD outbreak and we need to keep it that way! CWD can be transmitted easily from bringing infected body tissues into the area and exposing other deer. Go kill a big Kansas buck, but don’t bring back any spinal or brain tissues with you, just the material for a great mount and of course the venison. If you believe you have a CWD outbreak on your property or suspect the symptoms in a doe or buck, do not hesitate to contact the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division at 334-242-3469.
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