Carcass Transportation Regulations in the United States and Canada
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
State and Province CWD Regulations Table 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 through the
CWD LINKS 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]
|Click these links for more information|
Areas Where CWD Has Been Detected
USDA Guidelines for U.S. Hunters in Canada