Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Missouri MDC seeks hunters’ help when processing harvested deer and preventing CWD
Missouri Department of Conservation NEWS: Sept. 5, 2012
MDC seeks hunters’ help when processing harvested deer
MDC offers guidelines to prevent spreading chronic wasting disease (CWD).
By Jim Low, MDC
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Hunters play an important role in preventing the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD), according to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). Agency officials urge hunters to take simple, common-sense precautions when processing deer.
CWD is caused by abnormal proteins, called prions, which can remain infective for years. The disease attacks the nervous systems of members of the deer family and is always fatal.
Deer can become infected if they are exposed to soil containing CWD prions. One way for prions to get into soil is through improper disposal of infected, hunter-killed deer. Since many hunters process their own deer, they are key players in preventing the spread of CWD.
CWD has been found in free-ranging deer in Macon County. MDC has established a CWD Containment Zone in Adair, Chariton, Linn, Macon, Randolph and Sullivan counties and has taken measures to confine the disease to this area. However, MDC officials say hunters’ help is absolutely essential to the success of containment efforts.
“One way that CWD can spread is by the transportation of carcass parts by hunters,” says MDC Resource Scientist Jason Sumners. “CWD prions are concentrated in the spinal column, brain and other non-edible parts of deer that hunters normally discard. One of our challenges is to make sure hunters understand that moving deer carcasses outside the containment zone or leaving them exposed within the containment zone increases the risk of spreading the disease.”
Sumners says he is confident that hunters will do everything they can to avoid spreading CWD if they understand how important proper carcass disposal is. “No one has more at stake in this effort than hunters do,” he says.
CWD prions are concentrated in deer’s spine, brain, spleen, eyes, tonsils and lymph nodes. When processing deer, hunters should avoid cutting through bones, the spine or brain. Hunters who hunt somewhere other than home need to bring knives and containers so they can remove meat from bones and leave behind potentially infectious material.
After processing, send the carcass and other parts to a state-approved landfill so they will be properly buried. This can be accomplished by double bagging the carcass remains and sending them through municipal trash collection. If this is impractical, bury the carcass deep enough that scavengers can’t dig it up.
Trophies require some precautions, too. Taxidermists use artificial forms to create mounts, so there is no reason to keep the skull, which could carry prions. When removing the cape from the carcass, also skin the head. Use a power saw to remove the antlers, along with a small portion of the skull that joins them. Clean the inside of the skull plate with chlorine bleach before leaving the area where the deer was killed.
MDC also encourages hunters who harvest deer within the CWD Containment Zone to donate tissue samples. This is part of CWD monitoring that MDC has been conducting since 2002.
The Missouri Wildlife Code requires hunters who harvest deer, elk or moose out of state and bring the animal with the spinal column or head attached into Missouri to report the animal’s entry within 24 hours and take the carcass to a licensed meat processor or taxidermist within 72 hours of entry. This is designed to prevent introducing CWD into new areas of Missouri from other states.
Details about these measures are listed in the 2012 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet, which is available at MDC offices, where hunting permits are sold and online at
News Services Coordinator
Missouri Department of Conservation
Joe.Jerek@mdc.mo.gov or 573-522-4115 x3362
Discover Nature at www.mdc.mo.gov
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Captive Deer Breeding Legislation Overwhelmingly Defeated During 2012 Legislative Session
Saturday, September 01, 2012
Resistance of Soil-Bound Prions to Rumen Digestion
Friday, August 31, 2012
COMMITTEE ON CAPTIVE WILDLIFE AND ALTERNATIVE LIVESTOCK and CWD 2009-2012 a review
Friday, August 24, 2012
Diagnostic accuracy of rectal mucosa biopsy testing for chronic wasting disease within white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) herds in North America
The overall diagnostic specificity was 99.8%. Selective use of antemortem rectal biopsy sample testing would provide valuable information during disease investigations of CWD-suspect deer herds.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Missouri MDC staff will provide information on five recently found cases of CWD in free-ranging deer in northwest Macon County June 2, 2012
Friday, March 09, 2012
Third wild Missouri deer tests positive for chronic wasting disease one mile from infected Heartland Ranch
Thursday, March 08, 2012
Dept. of Ag Notified of Two Positive Tests for CWD at Macon County Facility
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
CWD found in two free-ranging deer from Macon County Missouri
Friday, October 21, 2011
Chronic Wasting Disease Found in Captive Deer Missouri
Friday, February 26, 2010
Chronic wasting disease found in Missouri deer
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Additional Facility in Pottawatamie County Iowa Under Quarantine for CWD after 5 deer test positive