LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) –
Wildlife biologists with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have
implemented new rules in an effort to increase Arkansas's defenses
against chronic wasting disease. This disease is more commonly known as
ailment, which has no known cure, has taken a heavy toll on deer and
the tradition of deer hunting in other states – but not Arkansas. To
date, no cases of CWD have been found in the state, and the Arkansas
Game and Fish Commission, along with several thousand Arkansans, want to
keep it that way. With the help of hunters, taxidermists and meat
processors here in Arkansas, the AGFC hopes to do just that.
line of defense is not bringing in the carcasses of cervids (members of
the deer family) from other states. Cervids include all deer species,
elk, moose and caribou. With the new carcass importation regulation in
place, only certain portions of these specific species may be brought
into or transported through Arkansas. This carcass ban further reduces
the risk of infecting Arkansas's deer and elk herd.
you go," said Cory Gray, AGFC's deer program coordinator. "Arkansas
hunters can still bring home their successes from other states but they
are now required to take a few extra steps in doing so."
whole or quartered carcasses are not allowed. In the past, hunters have
often partially processed game animals, packed them into coolers and
headed home. Because CWD resides in numerous locations throughout a
cervid's body, removing those portions prior to transport greatly
reduces the chance of transferring the disease to a new location.
So what portions may out-of-state hunters bring back to or even through Arkansas?
They can bring back:
- Antlers and/or antlers attached to clean skull plate or cleaned skulls (all tissue removed).
- Meat with all bones removed.
- Cleaned teeth.
- Finished taxidermy products.
- Hides or tanned products.
What is CWD?
CWD is a
neurological (brain and nervous system) disease found in cervids and is
always fatal. CWD is similar to mad cow disease in cattle and scrapie in
sheep. The disease belongs to a family of diseases known as
transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases. Prions are
abnormally shaped proteins that are not destroyed by cooking. Prions
generally accumulate in the brain, eyes, spinal cord, lymph nodes,
tonsils, and spleen of infected animals.
do not completely understand how CWD is spread, although research
indicates the agent responsible for the disease may be spread directly
through animal-to-animal contact or indirectly through the soil or other
should out of state hunters know the cervid carcass importation rules in
their home or destination state, they should also know the rules of the
state(s) they will be passing through with their harvest. For more
information on CWD and individual state regulations concerning cervid
carcass importation rules visit www.cwd-info.org