State warns about chronic wasting disease in deer

Virginia ranks 12th nationally in automobile collisions with deer.
Virginia ranks 12th nationally in automobile collisions with deer.((Source: Pixabay))
Published: Oct. 16, 2018 at 2:07 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - As hunting season ramps up, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is warning hunters about a deadly disease in deer.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in 40 deer in Virginia since 2009.

Symptoms of CWD include staggering, abnormal posture, lowered head, drooling, confusion, and weight loss. While CWD cannot be passed to humans, DGIF “strongly advises against consuming meat from any game animal that appears ill prior to death.”

Anyone who sees a sick deer should contact the DGIF Wildlife Conflict helpline at 1-855-571-9003 with location information.

DGIF says hunters can take several actions to avoid the spread of CWD:

  • Don’t feed deer. Feeding deer congregates them together and speeds up the transmission of disease from sick to healthy deer. 
  • Check DGIF’s list of carcass-restriction zones if hunting out-of-state and determine if the deer, elk, or moose is allowed to be transported into Virginia legally as a whole carcass. 
  • Do not transport whole deer carcasses out of the CWD Containment Area (Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah, and Warren counties). 
  • Do not use lures or attractants that contain natural deer urine. The use of natural deer urine products is illegal. 
  • Do not leave leftover parts of deer carcasses on the landscape, especially the brain and spinal cord. Leftover parts of a deer should be buried or double-bagged and placed in a trash receptacle for home pick-up or discarded at a landfill or compactor site.

CWD has been detected in 25 states and in Canada.

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