Hunters are urged to follow deer carcass importation regulations to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) to new areas in Virginia. Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ (VDGIF) Law Enforcement has issued several citations this past week for deer carcasses brought into Virginia from carcass-restriction zones. The penalty for this offense is punishable as a Class 3 misdemeanor with a fine of up to 500 dollars. In addition, costs associated with CWD testing and disposal (incineration) of the carcass may be levied.
Whole deer carcasses (and infectious carcass parts) from anywhere in Pennsylvania are prohibited from entering Virginia, along with carcasses and certain carcass parts from select counties of West Virginia (Hampshire, Hardy, and Morgan counties) and Maryland (Allegany County). For more information regarding other carcass-restriction zones in the rest of the country, please visit: www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/diseases/cwd/.
CWD is a neurological condition of deer that is invariably fatal and its long-term impacts on deer populations is not known at this time. Five deer harvested in Virginia have been diagnosed with CWD since 2009, but all deer have been localized to the same general vicinity in Frederick County. The infectious agent causing the disease is known to survive for extended periods of time in an infected carcass, and the disease can easily be spread from location to location via the movement of infected deer carcasses. As such, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has restricted the movement of whole deer carcasses and infectious carcass parts from high-risk CWD areas.
Carcass parts allowed to enter Virginia from carcass-restriction zones include the following:
1. Boned-out meat that is cut and wrapped;
2. Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or skull attached;
3. Hides or capes with or without clean (no meat or tissue attached) skull attached;
4. Clean (no meat or tissue attached) skull plates or skulls with antlers attached;
5. Antlers (with no meat or tissue attached);
6. Upper canine teeth (buglers, whistlers, or ivories);
7. Finished taxidermy products.
CWD has been detected in 22 states and 2 Canadian provinces, and the VDGIF strongly urges hunters, taxidermists, and processors to help prev