Arkansas Bans Deer, Elk Carcass Imports to Avoid Disease

DECEMBER 16, 2005 - Posted at 8:12 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission has permanently banned imports of carcasses of all deer and elk species into the state in an effort to prevent chronic wasting disease.

Under the ban approved yesterday, it's against the law to import or possess any cervid carcass or body part taken from any area that has a known case of chronic wasting disease.  So far 23 states have adopted similar regulations.

The disease can be transmitted by infected carcasses and there is no cure.  It is a nervous system disorder observed in deer and elk in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and the two Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta.

There are a few exceptions to the ban: deboned meat, meat with no portions of spinal column or head, antlers, antlers attached to cleaned skull plates, or cleaned skulls, cleaned teeth, finished taxidermy products, hides and tanned products and deer or elk harvested in commercial wildlife hunting resorts.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)