Game and Fish Department is advising hunters
harvesting meat from deer and elk in other
states to take precautions.
Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological disease that affects deer
and elk. It is in a group of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies,
which include bovine spongiform encephalopathy in domestic cattle (also
called "mad cow disease") and scrapie in domestic sheep and goats. Surveillance
in Arizona has thus far shown that CWD is not present in our deer or elk
populations. The Game and Fish Department has implemented steps to reduce
the potential for this disease so that it doesn't establish itself in Arizona.
The department is concerned that CWD might be inadvertently brought into
our state through the transport of infected animal tissues.
Precautions that should be taken before bringing any harvested animal back
into Arizona include:
out the meat and package (either
commercially or privately); do not
cut into the spinal cord or remove
the head; do not quarter (or other
method) the carcass with any of the
spinal column or head attached.
not bring the brain, intact skull,
or spinal cord back into Arizona.
- If you wish to
take the antlers attached to the
skull plate, thoroughly scrape and
clean tissue from the skull plate
using a knife or brush and bleach.
Thoroughly clean all utensils afterwards
- Animal skins or
capes (without skull) do not need
any further treatment.
- Sawn-off antlers
- with or without velvet - do not
need further treatment.
- Upper canine teeth
of elk ("ivories") do not need further
- Finished, taxidermied
heads do not require further treatment.
There is no evidence that humans or animals
other than deer and elk can get CWD. We
are asking hunters to take precautions to
protect Arizona's deer and elk herds from
In addition, the Department is asking for your assistance in monitoring
for the disease. If you see deer or elk in poor condition, losing hair,
with droopy ears, are stumbling or that have a slow reaction to your presence,
call the department at 1-800-352-0700.
Additional information about chronic wasting disease is available from
the Chronic Wasting Disease
Alliance and Chronic
Wasting Disease (USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service)
Learn more about Chronic Wasting Disease
Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
cdc.gov Use their search feature to search the site for Chronic Wasting Disease
Chronic Wasting Disease
Hunter Highlights - What Every Arizona Hunter Should Know
About Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) [PDF,
NOTE: External sites will open in a new browser window.
If you have any questions, or need any additional information on the emergency
importation ban, please contact:
Chasa O'Brien, Research Branch Chief
Arizona Game and Fish Department WMRS
5000 W. Carefree Highway
Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000