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Hunters: Don't Bring Your Dead Deer from Ohio Into Kentucky

Hunters will no longer be able to bring the whole carcass of a deer killed in Ohio into Kentucky.

Researchers recently confirmed that a deer held in a northeastern Ohio captive hunting reserve tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD).

CWD is a contagious and fatal neurological disease that affects deer, elk, and other cervids native to North America. Currently, there is no evidence that CWD can be transmitted to humans. 

Chronic wasting disease has been previously detected in other neighboring states including Missouri, Illinois, West Virginia and Virginia. Ohio joins 19 other states and two Canadian provinces where this disease has been found.

Kentucky, which does not have the disease in its animals, prohibits the importation of whole carcasses or high-risk cervid parts such as the brain, spinal cord, eyes, lymphoid tissue from deer or elk killed in CWD–infected states and provinces.

Hunters may bring back deboned meat, hindquarters, antlers attached to a clean skull plate, a clean skull, clean teeth, hides and finished taxidermy products. To help prevent the entry of CWD into the state, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources discourages hunters from bringing back high-risk parts of deer or elk taken in any state, regardless of CWD status.

Several proactive steps have been taken by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and captive cervid owners to prevent the introduction of the disease into the state. 

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife monitors wild deer and elk herds while the Kentucky Department of Agriculture monitors the captive herds. Since 2002, Kentucky has tested more than 23,000 deer and elk for the presence of the disease. All results have been negative.

Regulations enacted to reduce the likelihood of CWD in Kentucky have included a ban on importation of live cervids from CWD-positive states, mandatory CWD monitoring of captive herds and prohibiting the importation of high-risk carcass parts from CWD-positive states into Kentucky.

This disease can persist in the environment and may be contracted from contaminated soil or vegetation or through contact with infected cervid parts. The movement of live animals, either through the captive deer trade or natural migration, is one of the greatest risk factors in spreading the disease to new areas.

From the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife

Photo via Wikipedia