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Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : October11, 2005


Hoy Murphy , Public Information Officer (304) 558-3380

Contact: Curtis Taylor , Wildlife Resources Section Chief (304) 558-2771


Hunters Reminded of Restriction on Importing Cervid Carcasses


            Hunters are reminded that Legislative Rule 58CSR63 places restrictions on the importation of cervid (e.g., deer and elk) carcasses and carcass parts into West Virginia from a state or province that has diagnosed chronic wasting disease (CWD).  These importation restrictions also apply to deer and elk carcasses taken   from captive cervid facilities in any state or province.  The only exceptions are the meat from which all bones have been removed, the cape, the antlers and skull plate from which all meat or tissue has been removed, cervid canines, and finished taxidermy heads.


            “The importation of cervid carcasses from CWD-positive states and provinces probably represents a minimal risk factor associated with the spread of this disease,” noted West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) Director Frank Jezioro.  “Nonetheless, with the ongoing CWD situation in Hampshire County, we think it necessary to remind our hunters of these carcass importation restrictions as we strive to take all the steps necessary to protect our state's white-tailed deer resources.”


            With the recent confirmation of CWD in four deer located in Hampshire County, the DNR encourages hunters to apply similar precautions relating to the movement and handling of deer carcasses. If you harvest a deer in Hampshire County, please use the following common sense approach in handling your carcass.  Field dress the animal, check the deer at an official checking station, transport the animal to the location where you will be processing it, place unwanted carcass materials in a strong garbage bag and dispose of this material in a landfill with your other household garbage.


            CWD is a neurological disease found in deer and elk, and it belongs to a family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.  The disease is thought to be caused by abnormal, proteinaceous particles called prions that slowly attack the brain of infected deer and elk, causing the animals to progressively become emaciated, display abnormal behavior and invariably results in the death of the infected animal.  There is no known treatment for CWD, and it is fatal for the infected deer or elk.  It is important to note that currently there is no evidence to suggest CWD poses a risk for humans or domestic animals.


            CWD was first recognized in 1967 in Colorado, and it subsequently has been found in captive herds in nine states and two Canadian provinces and in free-ranging deer or elk in ten states and two provinces.  Earlier this year, the disease was found as far east as New York.  In September, CWD was confirmed in West Virginia, and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources immediately activated its CWD Response Plan, which is designed to effectively address this important wildlife disease situation.


            More information on CWD can be found at the DNR's Web site:  and the CWD Alliance Web site: .


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