Following the confirmation of Mississippi’s first case of Chronic Wasting Disease in the deer population, Alabama has banned the importation of deer meat from Mississippi. This was done in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease to their deer population.
A statement from the Alabama Conservation Association says that the ban is effective immediately, but does include some exceptions.
“Effective immediately: Alabama hunters MAY NOT IMPORT deer carcasses from MISSISSIPPI. Alabama regulation PROHIBITS the importation of body parts of any deer species from any CWD-positive state. Chronic Wasting Disease has now been CONFIRMED in MS.
Body parts from infected animals can carry the same deadly risk to Alabama’s deer herd as live animals.
Exceptions to the ban include meat that has been completely deboned, cleaned skull plates with attached antlers and no visible brain or spinal cord tissue, raw capes or hides with no visible brain or spinal cord tissue, upper canine teeth with no root structure or other soft tissue, and finished taxidermy products or tanned hides.”
Amy Blaylock, Wildlife Bureau Director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, says that Mississippi had the same precautions in place as it related to states with confirmed cases of CWD.
“We banned importation of deer from other states as far as meat being brought back,” Blaylock said. “We would allow meat, but it had to be deboned and the skull cap had to be completely cleaned. So now that we have found a positive CWD case, other states are doing the same thing.”
Blaylock explained why it is important to debone and clean the meat properly to prevent the spread of the disease.
“Prions that spread CWD cluster around the spinal cord and in brain tissue, so that’s why we recommend people debone their meat, and if they are going to bring antlers or the skull cap back that they are completely cleaned,” Blaylock said.
While no research proves that humans can contract CWD from eating meat from a deer with the disease, the Department of Health recommends that you avoid doing so.
Due to the discovery, the MDWFP has stated that supplemental feeding is banned in the following counties: Claiborne, Hinds, Issaquena, Sharkey, Warren, and Yazoo.